“Tragedy of Today’s Employment Landscape”: Generation X workers are hardest hit by the job crisis amid COVID-19

Generation X workers are hardest hit by unemployment during the pandemic, according to a survey by Generation, a nonprofit focused on employment.

The survey included 3,800 unemployed and employed people aged 18 to 60 and 1,404 hiring managers in the United States, Brazil, India, Italy, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Spain. The people were interviewed between March and May 2021.

Generation X is the term typically used for people born between 1965 and 1980, followed by the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 and low income levels.

While pre-pandemic employment concerns existed for those ages 45 and up, COVID-19 made them worse and made it difficult to find and keep employment, the study found. Fifty percent of mid-career Americans looking for work said COVID-19 had a huge impact on their employment.

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Both job seekers and employers see age as a hurdle

Age is seen as a major hurdle to employment by employers and employees alike; 71% of people 45 and over looking for a job found their age an obstacle. Employers also generally considered those over 45 to be less skilled compared to younger applicants, even though they had the same performance in the workplace.

“To hear that employers who have hired jobseekers aged 45 and older say these workers tend to outperform their younger colleagues is encouraging, but it also underscores the tragedy of today’s employment landscape,” Generation CEO Mona Mourshed said in a statement.

Generation X workers would benefit greatly from additional training, but they are the least likely to take advantage of it: 57% said they were reluctant. Three out of four employers also said that training and certification provide the necessary experience and skills.

To improve conditions, Generation recommended tracking employment trends among 45- to 60-year-olds better, linking training programs with job opportunities, creating better recruitment practices, and finding ways to train current employees for new roles.