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In with the old: Aging in today's job market |

2 March 2014—Jacquelyn James, co-director of research at the center was quoted in the article of Susan Johnson, contributor for, Living/Sunday Life

Employers still hesitant

With so much to recommend them, why are so many employers still so hesitant to take on the older employee? Peter Cappelli, management professor at the Wharton School of Business and coauthor of “Managing the Older Worker” says that, when comparing the 17- to 44-year-old employee with his or her over-50 counterpart, “every aspect of job performance gets better. I thought the picture might be more mixed, but it isn’t. The juxtaposition between the superior performance of older workers and the discrimination against them in the workplace just really makes no sense.”

But discrimination in any form makes no sense and the same holds true with misperceptions about the older generation. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they are still perceived by many to be out of touch, disinterested and not worth the investment. Jacquelyn James, co-director of research at Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging & Work believes that, “people in that age group (50s and 60s) are in the middle of a huge transition in terms of how age is seen and experienced and I don’t think the world has caught up with that change. So, older workers are still seen as people who are planning for retirement, who are on their way out their door, who are disengaging.”

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