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Generation X Workers Face Global Unemployment Crisis



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Generation X workers are potentially facing the brunt of global unemployment as the pandemic rages on. Workers aged 41 to 56 might find it harder to switch jobs or even get a new one. 

RELATED: Burned Out Millennials Quitting Their Jobs

Generation X Faces Worsened Ageism

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital working methods. This makes it harder for mid-career workers to secure roles. Generation, a non-profit employment organization, produced a global study entitled “Meeting the world’s midcareer challenge”.

Conducted between March and May 2021, the study covered 3,800 employed and unemployed people from 18 to 60 years old. It also covered 1,404 hiring managers across seven countries. The reports said that entry-level and intermediate workers between the age of 45 and 60 face increased barriers due to biases among hiring managers. 

It didn’t help that Generation X workers showed reluctance to learn new skills.  For the first time, there’s “a number on ageism,” according to Dr. Mona Mourshed, CEO of Generation.

It’s very clear that once you reach a certain age, it just becomes much harder to access a job opportunity. “This is a demographic that is absolutely in need and it’s very clear that once you reach a certain age, it just becomes much harder to access a job opportunity,” Mourshed added. 

Findings Consistent Among Generation X Workers Across The World

The findings came out consistently even across countries and demographics. It showed that 45- to 60-year-olds remain the most overlooked employee bracket. In fact, for the past six years, mid-career individuals made up a high percentage of the long-term unemployed.

In addition, the research found out that hiring managers worldwide find Generation X workers the worst segment in terms of application readiness, fitness, and previous experience.

The report said that older workers are more reluctant to try new technologies (38%), have an inability to learn new skills (27%), and have difficulty in working with other generations (21%).

Older Workers Outperform Younger Workers

Despite the HR managers’ biases, evidence points that older workers, especially those from Generation X, often outperform their younger coworkers. In fact, 87% of hiring managers reported that new employees 45 years and above performed as well or better than younger ones.

Mourshed said these findings confirm the presence of biases at play in the workplace. “It is often the case that like identifies with like when it comes to ‘isms,’” she said.

Mourshed said that there is a current tendency among hiring managers to opt for hires in their age group. She added that CV-based interviews make it difficult for applicants to demonstrate their skills. Meanwhile, training can help bridge the gap but Generation X workers seem reluctant to undergo training. 

Watch the Inside News report that Generation X workers face the biggest unemployment crisis study finds:

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  • Elaine says:

    Cv only based hiring is a poor practice. The younger generations lack work ethic in large numbers. The sense of entitlement rampant in the younger work force is sad. Anyone can look spectacular on paper, but actions prove who they really are. I have seen many new hires who looked good on CV only to prove disappointing within the first 4 months of work. Generally, I find after about 6 weeks, their true colors show. This is not to say ALL fall into this chasm, but an alarming number seem to.
    I am coming from the nursing field and I personally am very worried about the future of healthcare at the basic levels. Which you can have all the most advanced tech and procedures, but if you ignore the basics and being observant then you risk poor outcomes. Hospitals in my area are only interested in hiring cheap nurses. That translates to the newest, least experienced. It is a generation of nurses who do not know to think outside the box when necessary and not everything fits into a textbook answer. A friend is head of a nursing program, she sees the same thing coming through the schools and the colleges are not interested in providing adequate funding to the nursing programs. It’s a widespread problem.

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