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Canadian Job Seekers: the Age Divide

Young or old, longtime jobless or freshly loosed upon the world of work, if you’re unemployed in this country, you’re making a pretty standard time investment in trying to change that. StatsCan has released a study that sought to identify the differences in job-search behaviours between the older unemployed and their younger counterparts — and has determined that they’re not so distinct after all.

Data, which came from the Employment Insurance Coverage Survey spanning the period from 2006 to 2010, suggest that both age brackets invest equal time in their pursuit of employment.

The study reports that unemployed people aged 55 to 64 spent an average of 13 hours a week job hunting — the same as those between the ages of 20 and 34.
    
The key differences between these demographic samplings show up in the way each age group looks for jobs. Not surprisingly, you’d be more likely to see the old folks scouring newspaper classifieds and the young folks surfing on-line job boards.

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Other findings include:

• Younger job seekers are more likely than older job seekers to connect with employers directly as their main means of finding work.
    
• Older and younger unemployed workers are equally willing to take a job outside of

their usual stomping grounds.

• Older workers are willing to work for 10 percent less money than younger workers.

• The older contingent of unemployed tends to have less education than the younger one, and is more likely to have skills suited only to a specific industry.

• Both age groups turn to employment agencies in similar numbers.

Ultimately, the StatsCan report is compelling for what it reveals about the commitment Canadians without work are prepared to make to reverse that reality. The DOB on their driver’s license notwithstanding, these folks are dedicated to putting in the hours required to find jobs. What’s more, their job-search habits stay consistent, regardless of the duration of their unemployment. Job seekers spend the same amount of time looking for work 24 weeks into the ordeal as they do during their first eight weeks of joblessness — no matter their age.

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