Monday, January 25, 2016

Why women over 50 can’t find jobs

From PBS News Hour:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/women-over-50-face-cant-find-jobs/
 
BY Teresa Ghilarducci 
January 14, 2016 


If you’re a woman over the age of 50, finding work has statistically gotten harder since 2008.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis recently published a study that showed that half of the long-term unemployed are now women over 50. So what’s going on?

Economics correspondent Paul Solman sat down with Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist and the author of the new book, “How to Retire with Enough Money,” to talk about how age discrimination and assumptions about the worth of women’s labor affect the job and retirement prospects of “older” women workers.

For more on the topic, tune in to tonight’s Making Sen$e segment, which airs every Thursday on the PBS NewsHour. The following text has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor

Paul Solman: What explains discrimination against older women in the workplace?

Teresa Ghilarducci: So this is a really interesting finding, because we’ve all known about age discrimination, but I don’t think any of us thought that men were exempt. The fact that women are the ones that don’t get the jobs when they’re over 50 and looking for work does though, on second thought, make sense.

Paul Solman: Why does it make sense?

Teresa Ghilarducci: Well, a lot of what women do in their lives is punctuated by time outside of the labor market — taking care of family, taking care of children — and women’s labor has always been devalued. So if you have an older woman coming to you and applying for a job, you’re going to think about what kind of experiences she had, what kind of skills she might have. And rightly or wrongly, but probably unfairly, you’re going to assume that she had some time out of the labor market and that she was doing something that was basically worthless, because she wasn’t being paid for it.
The fact that caring labor is devalued in our society is something we’re going to have to confront when more and more people have to be cared for as they get older. But what it does right now is that it hits a woman really, really hard when she’s trying to get hired.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/women-over-50-face-cant-find-jobs/

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