It is often said that older workers are overlooked when it comes to filling job vacancies in favour of younger candidates, however new research has claimed that baby boomers are now filling casual jobs that younger staff no longer want.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics carried out the study which shows that people aged 55-plus are now taking up casual roles, which have been traditionally filled by students looking for part-time work.
According to the findings, younger workers, aged 16-19 years old, are now too busy with internships or extra-curricular activities to work, leaving the jobs open for another demographic.
“There’s been an age twist,” Professor Paul Harrington, from Drexel University, told the Washington Post. “There’s this idea out there among teens that work isn’t such a cool thing anymore. So who’s replacing them in the workforce? Older Americans, 55 and up.”
The shocking findings revealed that only 35 per cent of those aged 16-19 were working, which has drastically reduced from 52 per cent 20-years ago.
Now sectors such as hotels, country clubs, recreational centres and parks are struggling to fill 150,000 lifeguard jobs across America. The American Lifeguard Association revealed they have now turned to baby boomers to fill the vacant roles, even hiring one man aged 86.
“Back when Baywatch was on the air, we had so many applicants that we had to turn people away,” BJ Fisher, 61, of the American Lifeguard Association, said, “We’re starting to think outside the box: baby boomers, seniors, retired lawyers and accountants.
“Employers are starting to look internally, too, ‘Maybe that custodian who swims laps after work can get certified’.”
The news comes just one day after it was revealed that baby boomer Jonathan Langley, from Texas, USA, was suing tech giant IBM for age discrimination, claiming he was fired from his job at the company for “not being a hip millennial”.
Langley, who had worked for IBM since 1993, has filed a legal claim against his former employee, which alleges that “had Mr. Langley been younger”, he would not have been fired from his role.
The claim, published by The Register, reads: “Had Mr Langley been younger, and especially if he had been a millennial, IBM would not have fired him. Mr Langley’s age was a motivating factor in his selection for termination.”
Langley worked his way up through the ranks over a period of 24 years, eventually earning the title of worldwide program director and sales lead for Bluemix software-as-a-service, and was described as a worker whose “performance met or exceeded IBM’s expectations”. He also received a US$20,000 (AU$27,127) bonus just months before his dismissal.