Gen X workers are feeling the brunt of unemployment concerns during the pandemic, according to a survey from Generation, a non-profit focused on employment.
The survey covered 3,800 unemployed and employed people ages 18 to 60 and 1,404 hiring managers across the United States, Brazil, India, Italy, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Spain. People were surveyed between March and May 2021.
Generation X is the term typically used for people born between 1965 and 1980, preceded by the baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964. The survey focused on those looking for, or in, entry-level and intermediate roles with no formal postsecondary education and low-income levels.
While employment concerns for those 45 and over existed before the pandemic, COVID-19 worsened them, making it harder to gain employment and keep it, the study found. Fifty percent of midcareer Americans seeking work said COVID-19 had a major effect on their employment.
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Both job-seekers and employers see age as a hurdle
Age is viewed as a large hurdle to employment by employers and employees alike; 71% of those 45 and over who were seeking a job believed their age is an obstacle. Employers also generally viewed those above 45 as having weaker skills compared with younger candidates despite having the same on-the-job performance.
“Hearing employers that have hired job-seekers aged 45 and above say that those workers tend to outperform their younger counterparts is encouraging but also accentuates the tragedy of today’s employment landscape,” Generation CEO Mona Mourshed said in a statement.
While Gen X workers would greatly benefit from additional training, they are the least likely to take it: 57% expressed reluctance to do so. Three out of 4 employers also said training and certifications provide the necessary experience and skills.
To improve conditions, Generation advised better tracking ofemployment trends of those ages 45-60, linking training programs to employment opportunities, creating better hiring practices, and finding ways to train current employees for new roles.