50+ Workers on the Move: AARP survey shows more than one-third plan to look for a new job in next few years

Paula Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan

Many older American workers say they plan on getting a new job.
A new AARP national survey shows that a fifth (20 percent) of 50+ workers say they looked for a new job in the last year, and a whopping 35 percent say that they will either “very likely” (18 percent) or “somewhat likely” (17 percent) look for a new position in the next three years.
This work force trend inspired AARP Michigan to offer Experience for Hire, a pilot program launched recently in Wayne, Macomb and two other counties that matches older workers with job openings in Michigan.
The program aims to help find work for older adults who want to change jobs or get back into the work force. Experience for Hire also intends to help Michigan employers – who report about 100,000 unfilled jobs in the state – find experienced workers, many of whom are already trained and work ready.
“Hiring experienced, older adults is an option many employers may not have considered,” said Paula Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan. “Experience for Hire is a unique collaborative that connects talent to jobs.”
Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of the 50+ workers surveyed say employers would see their age as a disadvantage when making hiring decisions.
“The economy has come a long way back since the Great Recession,” said AARP Senior Vice President Jean Setzfand in discussing the AARP study. “Industries are growing, and experienced workers are attracted to new job opportunities.
“For employers with a labor shortage or skills gap, they should always consider turning to the experienced workforce,” Setzfand added. “Experienced workers have higher levels of engagement, motivation and applied skills.”
She noted that the AARP Work and Jobs website (aarp.org/work) provides insights and tools to help maximize mature workers’ career potential. The Work and Jobs site includes a job search engine, a list of companies that have signed a pledge saying that they recognize the value of experienced workers, and tips for workers of all experience levels who are looking for work or exploring workplace options.
Job seekers interested in the AARP Michigan Experience for Hire program can create an account and apply for jobs at Job seekers can go to aarp.cvent.com/experienceforhire
The AARP survey also found a large percentage of experienced workers admit to being a bit rusty when it comes to job searches.
Nearly half of workers surveyed (47 percent) say it has been 10 or more years since they have applied for a job, and four-in-ten (39 percent) admit that they have not updated their resume in over a similar period of time.
The AARP survey was fielded online between August 18 and 21 as part of GFK’s US Omnibus survey. One thousand and three 50+ workers (that is, those working or looking for work) were surveyed, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage poi


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