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Goodbye, boomer: the upcoming culling of workers over 50

Oh oh. Those of us who remembered when ’80s music was new could better prepare us for those bigger chores from the big box earlier than we expected.

It’s no genius to see that the job market is likely headed for a massive rolling shakeout. And that means that many employers use the COVID-19 cover to get rid of many expensive older workers.

80% of older Americans cannot afford to retire – COVID-19 does not help

Age discrimination in the labor market, which is allegedly illegal, is rising in recessions. Some employers take the opportunity to scrap experienced workers with reasonable wages and replace them with cheap, desperate kids who want to put up with everything.

This is not just my opinion.

New research from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that age discrimination goes hand in hand with the unemployment rate. Older workers are generally the last hired and the first fired. And although the unemployment rate has fallen again in the past two months, after the first COVID shock, you’re crazy when you think it’s over. (OK, that was the ’70s.)

Economists Gordon Dalh of the University of California, San Diego and Matthew Knepper of the University of Georgia reported the figures for age discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and compared them with the unemployment rates for the industry and the US state concerned. the time.

“For every 1 percentage point increase in a state’s monthly unemployment rate, the volume of termination and recruitment costs for age discrimination increases by 4.8% and 3.4%, respectively,” they found.

And that was all the more true when they got rid of weaker or possibly frivolous complaints, looking only at the complaints that the EEOC believed deserved merit and needed further investigation. “While the incentive to make weaker claims is stronger when unemployment is high, the number of meritorious claims also increases significantly when labor market conditions deteriorate,” they write.

For the record, they also performed analyzes of a survey conducted in 2012 that sent fake (female) resumes across the country in response to job openings. Their findings? “Any increase of one percentage point in the local unemployment rate reduces the callback rate for older women by 1.7 percentage points (o ffff a callback rate of 10.8%) compared to younger women,” they conclude. That’s about a relative 16% drop in callback rates for every percentage point added to the unemployment rate. (The younger “applicants” were said to be 35 to 42 years old, the elderly over 50, they say.)

In short, the higher the unemployment rate, the more likely employers are to choose younger female applicants over older female applicants. Everything else is the same, an older woman is 6.8 percentage points less likely to be called back when she competes with two additional younger female applicants, which translates into a 63% reduction from the average. “

They conclude: “Together, our two analyzes provide convincing evidence that age discrimination increases as labor markets deteriorate. As far as we know, this is the first direct evidence of age discrimination that varies with the business cycle, for both the definitive and recruitment margins. ”

Oh great.

Technically, employers shouldn’t discriminate against workers over 40 based on age, thanks to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. But it’s more honored in breakthrough than compliance. In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the protection was quite narrow. ‘[M]any decisions made by employers that are designed to cut costs or respond to market forces are likely to have a disproportionate effect on older workers, “and that is legal, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote for the majority.

The stock market and some economic data may point upward, but the bond market tells a different story and predicts something in the region of the catastrophe. The 10-year treasury falls again until the panic in March. Gold is booming. Tensions between China and the US are mounting

It also seems to be slowly dawning on the world that the virus didn’t just ‘go away’ because we all hid for a few months. Cases have risen from here in the US to China. Restarting the world would always lead to the virus coming right back, as scientists at Imperial College London warned back in March. This causes some plans to reopen to be interrupted or even reversed. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker resets a 14-day quarantine on everyone who enters the state.

Good times. Let’s hope that when all this is over, there are actually still a few stores hiring greetings.