CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (CBS Connecticut) — Age discrimination in the U.S. is widespread and the older you are the more discrimination you face, according to a new study.

National Bureau of Economic researchers found that older women face particularly harsh discrimination, as reported by Bloomberg News.

Each day about 10,000 more people turn 65, an age typically associated with retirement. But amid financial concerns, many baby boomers are choosing to continue working for extra income, sometimes even searching for new positions. And though age discrimination is illegal, that isn’t stopping it from occurring.

Three economists, David Neumark and Ian Burn of the University of California at Irvine and Patrick Button of Tulane University, conducted an experiment to evaluate how present age discrimination is, with a particular focus on workers nearing retirement age.

The authors sorted through more than 40,000 job applications and responded with similar fake resumes for workers presented as 29-31 years old, 49-51 years old, and 64-66 years old. The data came from a dozen cities including New York and Los Angeles.

The findings suggest that callback rates via telephone or email were significantly higher for younger workers, regardless of the position being advertised.

Given that the skill set for each applicant was similar, researchers say discrimination may be to blame for older workers experiencing longer periods of unemployment and less opportunities. Researchers also found the bias is more severe when looking at gender.

“We find robust evidence of age discrimination in hiring against older women,” the authors wrote in the report. “There is evidence of stronger age discrimination for women than for men in sales.”

A previous study from 2002 raised other alarming hiring trends when the findings suggested that managers were more likely to call back applicants with “white-sounding” names compared to those with “black-sounding” names.

The researchers say the data based on almost 5,000 submitted applications presents a convincing argument that age discrimination is rampant in the nation.


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