Age discrimination laws did not help older Americans retain their jobs during the economic downturn

During the economic downturn of 2008 and onwards, older Americans received a large hit in the job market as businesses often replaced them with newer employees. The laws in place that prevented age discrimination were no use in helping the older demographic to receive jobs or keep them. In fact, states with stronger age discrimination laws ended up with more aged Americans being discriminated against.

One key statistic is that in March, the average duration of unemployment for those between the ages of 55 and 64 was 49 weeks which is almost double the length for the age group of 20-24 according to Labor Department data.

Some have said that enforcing age discrimination laws during times of economic recessions are practically impossible to enforce. “An event like the Great Recession disrupts the labor market so severely that sorting out which effects are due to age discrimination and which to worsening business conditions becomes very difficult,” according to a study  by David Neumark and Patrick Button, published on Monday.


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