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Ageism Could Hurt Job Prospects, Say Job-Insecure Older Workers

Older workers fear that ageism could cost them their jobs or hamper a job search

Older workers concerned about job security say that age may hurt their job prospects.  

  • Nearly half of older concerned workers fear that their older age will hamper their job search.
  • Women are more concerned than men (47% vs. 41%). Hispanics/Latinos are more fearful than African Americans/Blacks (41% vs. 28%).
  • Older workers who are concerned they could lose their job this year believe their age would be a factor (61%).
  • Although older workers feel prepared for a job search, almost half (44%) haven't had a job interview in over five years, and nearly three-quarters (74%) say they would likely need to learn new skills to get a new job. 

This survey was fielded between November 30 and December 7, 2020, using a Dynata online panel, to 1,052 adults ages 40–65 who are in the workforce. 

In addition, respondents must have had some job uncertainty for the next year, including at least one of the following: currently unemployed; need upskilling to keep their current job or get a new job; concerned that they could lose a job, be temporarily laid off, have hours reduced, or be furloughed.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Perron at For media inquiries, contact


Suggested citation:

Perron, Rebecca. Ageism Could Hurt Job Prospects, Say Job-Insecure Older Workers, Washington, DC: AARP Research, January 2021.


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