Michelle Cohen Levy

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Age discrimination has a serious economic cost

| Feb 14, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination |

Age discrimination in Florida and around the country not only affects targeted workers but can have a serious impact on the economy as a whole, according to a report issued by AARP. Researchers note that if older workers continue to face discrimination in hiring, terminations, or promotions, the American economy could lose up to $850 billion as a result. People over 50 generated 40% of the country’s overall GDP in 2018, contributing $8.3 trillion to the economy overall. This financial contribution exceeded this group’s percentage of the overall population, which sits at 35%, even though many older Americans are retired or working fewer hours.

The report notes that the economic contributions of Americans over 50 are expected to reach $28.2 trillion before 2050, but that this potential is limited by age discrimination. Discrimination based on age is unlawful under federal law, but older workers continue to face underemployment, difficulties finding new jobs or involuntary retirement. Another report noted that older workers were particularly vulnerable to wage stagnation. One of the most effective ways for workers to seek higher pay is to apply for new jobs at another company. However, older workers may face more difficulty finding a newer job, holding them back from achieving their full pay potential.

As a result, older Americans have less disposable income to put back into the economy. Older workers may also be vulnerable to other types of mistreatment. Concerns about hiring discrimination are well-known, so employers may believe that they do not have to treat older employees well in order to retain them in their jobs.

Workplace discrimination can take a chunk out of the economy; on an individual level, workers may face thousands of dollars in lost wages and other costs. An employment law attorney may help victims of discrimination to seek justice and accountability.