Older jobless not helped by cutting pay expectations

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Despite the economic revival and the mounting shortage of staff in some sectors, the over 50s still find it hard to get a look-in, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday.

Even if the over 50s lower their salary expectations, companies still don’t want to employ them, research using information gleaned from the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP has found.

‘If older workers mention their previous salary, employers think they are too expensive,’ Utrecht University professor Joop Schippers told the paper. ‘But if they ask for a more modest salary, employers begin to think something is not right and that the candidate does not believe he or she are right for the job.’

Schippers studied the experiences of hundreds of people who took part in the SCP’s biennial labour market report. He found that older workers apply for jobs just as much as younger people and are prepared to reduce their salary expectations, but they are still less likely to get a job.

Even if someone over the age of 55 is prepared to cut their salary demand by 25% their chance of getting a job only rises from 17% to 24%, Schippers found.

Figures from the national jobs agency UWV show that half the over 50s who lose their jobs are out of work for more than a year, compared with one third of the workforce in general.

Schippers’ research will be published in the academic journal Tijdschift voor Arbeidsvraagstukken shortly, the Telegraaf said.

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