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Job Seeking Among Workers Age 50+

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A new national AARP survey shows many older workers are interested in finding new jobs, but feel that their age puts them at a disadvantage in the marketplace.

One in 5 American workers age 50 and over looked for a new job in the last year and about 1 in 3 say they are likely (35%) to apply for a new position in the next three years, according to the survey.

At the same time, a large percentage of experienced workers are a bit rusty when it comes to job searches.  For 47 percent of all workers surveyed, it’s been 10 or more years since they applied for a job. Nearly 40 percent of workers age 50 and over haven’t updated their resume in the past decade and, for those age 65 and over, the figure jumps to nearly 50 percent.

Meanwhile, 38 percent spruced up their resume within the past three years, while 4 in 10 have applied for a new position in the past five years.

With such dynamics at play, just how do older applicants view their chances?

Most think their age works against them. The survey found 64 percent of 50+ workers believe employers see their age as a disadvantage in the hiring process, and 79 percent of 65+ workers feel it hurts them. Just 9 percent think their age is considered a plus in hiring.

The AARP survey was conducted in August and included 1,003 Americans age 50 and over (those working or looking for work). The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

To better equip themselves for today’s job market, older workers can find free assistance and resources at the AARP Work and Jobs website (

This study was fielded from August 18-21, 2017 as part of GfK’s US Omnibus survey. The sample was drawn from the GfK KnowledgePanel, a probability-based online survey panel representing the US adult population. Oversamples were collected to achieve a sample size of 1,003 adults age 50+ who are in the labor force (i.e., working or looking for work).  For more information contact Sarah Kerman at or Colette Thayer at


Suggested Citation:

Kerman, Sarah, and Colette Thayer. Job Seeking Among Workers Age 50+. Washington, DC: AARP Research, October 2017.

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