Older workers top new Hopelessness scale

The Hopelessness index paints a disturbing picture for older Australian job seekers.

Older workers top new Hopelessness scale

Australia’s official unemployment rate currently sits at 5.7 per cent. At face value, this seems a reasonable figure, but according to economist Jason Murphy, the data tells a darker tale.

Using the latest ABS Participation, Job Search and Mobility data, Mr Murphy has created a ‘Hopelessness index’ by comparing a segment’s unemployment numbers against the number of employed people in that segment who started a job in the past 12 months.

For example, the Northern Territory has 5200 people currently unemployed, while 31,000 employed people started a job in the past 12 months. This means that the Northern Territory has a Hopelessness rating of 16.7 per cent, which is by far the lowest in the country. On the other side of the scale, Tasmania, which has 18,000 unemployed people and 35,000 employed people who started a job in the past 12 months. The result is a Hopelessness rating of 51.4 per cent, the highest in the country.

When you do the same analysis by age group, the data paints a disturbing picture for older Australian job seekers. The 60–64 age group tops the Hopelessness index by age group, scoring over 75 per cent on the scale. Second highest on the scale is the 65–69 age group, scoring around 60 per cent, closely followed by the 55–59 age group, with around 55 per cent. The 25–34 age group scored the lowest rating at under 30 per cent.

Read more from www.news.com.au
Read more from www.abs.gov.au

Opinion: Australia’s waste of experience

The data presented by Mr Murphy is confronting for anyone in the 55-plus age group who is looking for a job.

Old does not mean obsolete. In fact, all around the world we look to the 55+ age group to fill the most important roles. Take the upcoming US presidential election, where 70-year-old Donald Trump will battle 68-year-old Hillary Clinton for the top job. Looking closer to home, our current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is 61 years old. Let’s also not forget the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, who is 79 years of age.

Age is only a number, but it seems to be a defining difference in the current Australian workforce. Unemployed workers in these age groups bring a solid work ethic and experience to the table, but what hope do they have when the person conducting the interview is a 30-something who can’t relate to that age and stage of life?

As a nation, we are wasting precious human resources. I’m not talking about coal, gold or copper, but the irreplaceable experience of our older workers that needs to be passed down through the workforce. It’s time for a Federal Government to do more than they already are to showcase and promote the older worker as an asset.

What do you think? Are you 55+? Have you experienced the struggle of finding a job in the current Australian workforce? Should more be done to embrace the skills and experience offered by older workers? And, if so, what?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    East of Toowoomba
    23rd Jun 2016
    11:11am
    I have not been able to get job offers although I have had plenty of interviews for office administration, executive support type jobs which is what I had been doing for 20 odd years, until December 2015.

    On the other hand I have had no trouble getting work as a hospital cleaner, which I had never done until I turned 55. Work is work, so I am happy to take it but I expect this will be my last job before retirement.
    poorwomanme
    23rd Jun 2016
    11:37am
    The major part of the problem is the 'now generation' who prefer once they have reached a managerial position not to have senior people around them lest they be shown up for their lack of knowledge and ability to arrive at logical solutions, something that comes naturally with experience.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:48pm
    Spot on poowomanme- Their attitude stems from their era when they were told "you can do anything"- although we all know that is just yank crap. They do not like admitting their mistakes, so will try to blame others or hide the errors.
    Tzuki
    24th Jun 2016
    2:24pm
    I agree with you poorwomanme. The younger workers are afraid for their own worth and that the more experienced, wiser and knowledgeable senior workers will show them up.
    Julian
    23rd Jun 2016
    11:54am
    If you said 20 years ago that people would have to work beyond 60 or even 65, then you probably would have been ridiculed.

    I propose a " ridiculousness" factor which measures how stupid we, as a society, have become.
    Scrivener
    23rd Jun 2016
    11:59am
    What kind of idiot will design that?
    poorwomanme
    23rd Jun 2016
    12:04pm
    Tony Abbott would excel in that position, Scrivener.
    He has a wealth of experience at it!

    23rd Jun 2016
    11:58am
    These statistics have always remained the same for older workers. That is why older workers used to get the age pension at 60. The 25 -34 group has always been the most employed because that is when humans are at their productive peak. Older workers have to downgrade jobs to get employed.
    MB100D
    23rd Jun 2016
    1:37pm
    I don't agree, I've reinvented myself twice in the last 12 years and changed career paths for the better.
    I believe you need to keep pace with technology, invest in yourself and if current employers wont give you a start, start your own enterprise. At 69 I own and run my own consulting business and earn more than I ever have.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:53pm
    Jackie- you have to separate the various skills of older people. Some ( like me have supervision skills, as well as 30 years of hands-on construction. Others have stayed on the tolols and are not good at supervision- that's their position. To generalise that all 20-30 year olds have "productive" is very funny. Have you watched them WORK ?? It's a crying shame to see their lack of input ( I generalise here as a few are great)- and seem to be watching the clock by about 2.30pm- 'cos they are "zonked". I put that down to either (i) too much late night TV or (ii) sex. I rest my point.
    Scrivener
    23rd Jun 2016
    11:58am
    Go tell this to Centrelink. They won't allow you to work.
    KSS
    23rd Jun 2016
    12:25pm
    Centrelink administers the rules - they don't make them!
    Rae
    23rd Jun 2016
    2:57pm
    You could get work, or start a business, step outside the Centrelink big brother network and you would not have to have anything to do with them at all.
    Scrivener
    24th Jun 2016
    12:14am
    Rea, you must be an alien with powers of prescience and magic karma to assume you know my circumstances.
    Rae
    24th Jun 2016
    8:08am
    Sorry Scrivener. I just meant that if someone really wanted to still work,could work and found work then Centrelink would be the least of their problems. They could step outside that system for a while.

    I didn't mean you, in particular, my comment was badly worded.
    Phil1943
    23rd Jun 2016
    12:35pm
    I worked until I was 72, retiring only because my last job (in communications) was rendered meaningless and unsatisfying by changes in top management. They didn't want the publicity and media relations I could deliver. If I were younger I would've just put up with it and gone job-hunting but my time had come.
    I have had the sad experience of walking into a boardroom interview where everyone interviewing me was so young they could be my children's age, and the way they looked at me was 'Hey, it's grandpa' - I couldn't face that again.
    The culture in a workplace is important and we oldies don't fit into the typical modern office space. We have to be realistic and if we want to look for work go to places where we might still fit into the culture. Hard to find but it can be done.
    I'd still rather be with my mates from Probus than try to participate socially with 30- and 40-year olds. We're just from different planets!
    Rae
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:01pm
    Biggest difference I find is the totally mindless always be positive and ignore any problem at all attitude.

    There is no question asking, reflection or in depth analysis going on.

    I found you can fit in quite well if you just smile madly at everyone and never ever notice a problem.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:57pm
    Phil 1943 I had a similar experience years ago. I was a bit quick at one interview when they asked me "what would you see as an immediate improvement ? I answered "RESPECT. I got the job and gained respect- but was always ready for the younger brats smart comments. I had a few back of my own- so that's why you have to give it back -but with dignity- and a grin.
    KSS
    23rd Jun 2016
    12:38pm
    When you read the news article they mention the high rate of 'hopelessness' when having to deal with Centrelink and the Job Services Network. Well Duh! Talk about study the bleeding obvious!

    The way people are treated at Centrelink right from the get go is appalling. The decision to register as unemployed by an older worker is never taken lightly. The tone of all communication is accusative and threatening. You are assumed to be nefarious before you even open your mouth. Then you have to also register with the Job Services Network who are quite simply not geared up to dealing with intelligent, older experienced workers. All their programmes are slanted to the 'disadvantaged school leaver' who can barely read or write, has no qualifications or job experience (and often no intention of getting any). The 'support' they force you to undergo is frequently demeaning, insulting and irrelevant for the older, unemployed worker. And on top of that they have absolute power over you and one wrong move and they report you to Centrelink for non-compliance who then stop your benefit until the issue is sorted out. No wonder there is a sense of hopelessness among older unemployed workers at Centrelink and Job Services Australia!
    johnp
    23rd Jun 2016
    12:57pm
    One of the problems these days is the extremely high remuneration given to the C level people like CEOs, higher management etc. They are frequently sucking the value out a substantial part of the profits in many companies. E.G think of Sol Trujillo and his amigo cronies, banks etc etc
    john
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:02pm
    Then johnp why don't you have a go as a CEO. You could save the company money by accepting a lower salary, and take your dividend from the profits made, (after they have been declared that is). Have a go- wear a wig, get a face lift- slouch as you walk and leave your shirt out. They are not allowed to ask your age- so swat up on stuff around the 1980s and chat away about people overseas that they won't even know. You'll kill 'em.
    justme
    23rd Jun 2016
    1:21pm
    How old are the people that are saying others are too old to work.
    And would they consider resigning at that age because they're too old.
    Not serious; but something that should be included in any relevant studies.
    tisme
    23rd Jun 2016
    1:54pm
    when my daughter started school i went looking for work at what was the commonwealth employment agency they told me that I was too old and it wasnt likely id find work because at the ripe old age of 30 I was too old. why pay me 10 dollars an hour when u can get a 16 year old for 2 dollars an hour. Now at 56 im a carer of two family members 24/7 and the government pays me $2.95 an hour.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:05pm
    What age was the agency person who told you you were too old. How did they reconcile your age with the job- did you have to work at something that only young people know about- like ignorance- or was it another brat who was keeping the "youngies closed shop" protected. They are not allowed to base your application on age- Report them- and maybe a few more brats will learn respect.
    looknlisten
    23rd Jun 2016
    2:32pm
    Firstly we have to remember that although we still need income after the age of 55 we have had our children and our financial needs are often less than
    The younger generation still have all that ahead of them and have a lot to cater for in their lives

    We may have more life experience however many over 55's tend to live in their past glory and fail to update their skills - we often talk about the Gen Y's sense of entitlement - however I feel Many over55's have a sense of entitlement
    If we are not upgrading our skills and living in the present moment - we are in fact going backwards

    I have done some rather huge things in the past - managed 3states for two European companies opened an office overseas in HK and was the first female manager in my field in Australia amongst other achievements
    However all that means nothing to a current potential employer they want to know what we have done in the past 10 years - that's it!
    I have also lost everything I had accumulated as a single followed by divorce thank heavens Centrelink took care of myself and two young daughters at the time
    I don't have Bio family in this country Ive had a daughter
    That was hospitalised 130 in 12years
    During this time I became a domestic cleaner (stress free job)
    Now she is now well I have updated my qualifications
    In Management and marketing and have become pretty
    Savvy techno babe (self taught)
    I have kept myself involved in a home based wellness business great for personal growth and leadership
    I am due to receive the age pension in August when I turn 65 However! While I have applied for it I wish to buck the system and return to work and am working on looking my very best - the more pride I take in how I present myself and the more I display my flexibility and willingness to accept change and to grow and learn with the same enthusiasm as I had when I was 30 the more saleable I will be
    I guess the best way to get a job at our age is to get "under" the interviewer enough - lose the mature age authority attitude
    Make yourself part of the "family" (company)

    I think we can be our own worst enemy when job hunting
    We should stop blaming the "hirers" or the "Gen Y's and check our attitude
    Maybe we are suffering the PLOM syndrome (poor little old me)
    Our attitude determines our altitude
    Now I start work first week of July it's a contract position for two months and while I am employed I will be using the confidence of being in a job to seek a full time position where I can excel at using my skills

    Don't settle for mediocre update your skills your looks your attitude and become that powerful person you wish to be
    You can do it !!
    Rae
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:08pm
    Well said and so correct.

    You let the younger, superior be exactly that and fit into the attitude of the organisation which currently is upbeat, positive and fortunately often superficial.

    Just go with the flow and do your job without causing the slightest ripple in the stream.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:07pm
    I had a "sense of entitlement" at 18 years old. And boy did I use it. Some may think that is bragging, but if you don't use it, you lose it. (Quote from a famous All Black captain )
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:10pm
    Rae do I read you right. That you just drift along and not be seen. The brats will SEE YOU at the water fountain- or behind desks- it's what you DON'T do is what sorts you out from their superficial/time wasting ways. Please- give them direction but with subtlety.
    Rae
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:23pm
    My job doesn't allow any drifting along OarS as it is full steam all the way or get trampled over. No water fountain and I rarely sit behind a desk until I get to my study at home.

    There is rarely any time wasting as it just isn't possible.

    What I've noticed is the need to remain happy, looking healthy and never create a disturbance. There just isn't enough time for staff to be causing distraction.

    Once questioning, reflecting, problem solving was all the thing but I find these days that is the last thing young supervisors want happening.

    Any direction I give is purely by example only or is so subtle they think they thought it up themselves.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:58pm
    No water fountain no desks to hide behind- you must be at cattle muster- or even better- in the Communications Industry. The word SUBTLE crept into your advice- do you really think they understand suble stuff with all of their "momentum" happening. They probably see that as a weakness- like considering a second opinion- and so on. You paint a picture that is hard to accept. Do these people build buildings above ground level? I will be wary of their "happy houses"- brimming with "showy" exteriors- to be ripped down after a few years to make way for a freeway that is 20 years too late- but has their stamp of "rush" about it.
    niemakawa
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:37pm
    I think studies of this nature have been going on for 30 years or more. Governments promise to do something about employment opportunities for the older Australian. but little has been achieved and most people over 40 who have lost a job find themselves on some form of blacklist (too old). Despite incentives (taxpayers money) given out for retraining and to employers to take on older people the situation has not improved at all. Once the free Government assistance runs out employers revert to their old ways and prefer to recruit younger people. Older people have to get used to part-time casual work, doing whatever jobs they can get. Nothing will change in the foreseeable future. The young workers of today will be the older workers of tomorrow and more than likely will suffer the same fate. That's how our type of economy operates.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:46pm
    When I turned 60 yrs young I applied for a job with a smart young construction Company who (I thought) were goingplaces. I had years ( too many to tell) experience in construction, and applied for a supervisor. Their old ( 55 yr-old Mangaer took me on for three weeks trial. Then the young director saw me as threat as I found huge problems in many of their "flashy-but useless) systems. They did not keep me on after 3 weeks- I was too much of an embarrasment. Later I found that they had been under the watchfull eye of XXXX Department, and had their licence cancelled. Yet the young director bounced back with another company and is doing the same old illegal stuff under a new name. Do you think I could change his "work ethics" in 3 weeks? It would probably take 3 years hard labor in gaol to do that. I am one of many old blokes who have heaps of experience but our words fall on deaf ( and dumb) ears. So the plight of the flashy young "building directors" continues. For another 100 years.
    fish head
    23rd Jun 2016
    3:58pm
    Lots of very loud snickering going on. over 40 you become invisible.
    niemakawa
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:00pm
    "I get knocked down. But I get up again. You're never going to keep me down. "
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:13pm
    fish head. Then if you are invisible- you could "white-ant" their business -seeing they are not looking. I know of at least one company was "stolen" by a defiant oldy- good luck to him.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:14pm
    niemakawa are you talking about getting a job -or having a schooner at South Sydney Leagues Club on a Friday night in mid season ?
    niemakawa
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:17pm
    The job comes first , then "pissing the night away" on a Friday night.
    Rae
    23rd Jun 2016
    4:29pm
    Like the retired lady in the Dick Smith store that managed to shut down all their appliances before they noticed what she was doing.
    Oars
    23rd Jun 2016
    5:01pm
    Rae- I call that adventuresome. What a buzz.
    HarrysOpinion
    23rd Jun 2016
    5:14pm
    In 2002 at age 55 I did not have a problem changing and finding a job. This prevailed until age of 60, 2007 when it took me 1 month to find a new job. Then again in 2009 at age of 62 it took me 3 months to find work and again 3 months to find work in 2010 at age 63. I retired at age 65, in 2012 after I had enough of Age Discrimination by shallow minds who believed that "you can't teach old dogs new tricks", that was the attitude and it probably still exists. The only thing that helped me, eventually, to find work was my professional work qualification in the industry that I worked in for 32 years. Had I changed my occupation to another form of industry, which I did try, I don't think I would have been as fortunate. The governments of the past, Labor and the current government have no comprehension how hard it will be for people to stay in work over the age of 65 let alone finding work if they are dismissed. The only financial saving for the government not paying age pension to age 67 and later 70, will be the difference between the Age Pension payment and the Newstart Allowance plus an increase of people living in poverty. We just don't have potential government political party candidates to manage our nation’s people of all classes but we can't continue with the same ratbags. A lot of people have had enough of these worthless politicians. You need Xenophon, Lambie, Lazarus, Hanson and other independents in the Senate to keep the Lower House bastards at bay.
    marls
    23rd Jun 2016
    7:18pm
    what a load of rubbish the unemployed rates is extremely high, its means tested. as a sole parent a number of years ago not being on a high wage my son was not entitled to any benefits, and on top of this he could not register as being unemployed and could not apply for any jobs available via centrelink because they said he was not unemployed. to make things worse he decided to return to tafe then university and i had to support him until he
    was 25 our true unemployment rates is sky high
    DS
    23rd Jun 2016
    7:48pm
    Well said KSS regarding Centrelink and Job Services Network.
    SK
    24th Jun 2016
    12:13am
    I am proud to say that at 65 I am still employed in a job I love. When I tried returning to the work force after having children no one wanted to employ a HR person who has not been working for a decade. So I looked at the type of jobs in demand & studied book-keeping. Been doing this for the 20+ years. When my previous boss sold his business 5 years ago I was made redundant. Centrelink put me to a job placement company who politely told me that my chances of getting a job is very slim. With recommendation I found part-time work with 3 different places. Now I work for 1 company part-time (3day week) because Centrelink tells me if I work more hours I will loose my Commonwealth Seniors Card. I receive a pension of $1.70 a fortnight but it's not the money I want just the card to allow me cheaper medicine. I feel it's a joke to stop me from wanting to work to fund my own entitlement. I have to turn down work for this "privilege"
    East of Toowoomba
    24th Jun 2016
    7:37am
    SK, that's a very encouraging story to which I can relate. I like the idea of retraining yourself to find work in a growth area. But, wondering how you reconcile the idea of knocking back another day's work, ($100 to $200) each week in order to qualify for cheap meds?
    On the other hand, who wants to work themselves to death, at 65 it must be lovely to have some time to yourself.
    Oars
    24th Jun 2016
    9:35am
    SK- the new buzz is study law and get a job in a city law firm who deal with probate,civil actions of small entities, family law and all those other useless areas of law. You will make a packet. My experience over the last 40 years dealing with these leeches found they have little ethics but they were keen to milk fees from you, even if your case is pathetically obvious. Their previous arrogant stance - leaning back -was to carry a cash register to count there fees. Nowadays, they are more upright, as you pay through the nose with a piece of plastic. Better for their "stance" though- makes them look taller. Try it - all the dropouts from universities are into it.
    Tzuki
    24th Jun 2016
    2:21pm
    I have been looking for a part time or casual job for 15 months since I was made redundant. I am 61, but do not state that on my resume. I have had around 35 job interviews and in each instance, I notice them trying to work out how old I am. Some of them are pretty sneaky - ask me how long I have been married and things like that. But in general, even though I look in my mid fifties (according to people), the fact that I am over 50 means they are wasting my, and their, time as they have made up their minds when they see me that even though I am absolutely capable of performing the job in question, they Just Don't Want a 50 + work mate or employee!
    I am terribly frustrated as I do not have enough money to retire and even the cleaning jobs etc that I have applied for aren't even successful ( I am Reception/Accounts/Admin) because I am "not experienced :(
    Fran
    24th Jun 2016
    8:02pm
    I retired at 73 in 2013 due to redundancy. All the years since I re-entered the workforce at 42 after raising a family I had difficulty finding employment but persevering I always found work. I lived in the UK for 18 years and found the same descrimination from employment agencies and prospective employers but still 'got the job'. In 2004 I returned home to Sydney, one agency were so amazed that at 65 I was seeking a job they brought two other colleagues out to meet me! They say no discrimination but ask for your driving license giving your age! Nearly every job I secured from 1982 through to 2011 was through online applications! The recruitment agencies never seem to employ anyone over 26 in their own workplace.
    Further, one position I held the CEO told everyone at an Executive meeting where I was taking the Minutes that the company didn't want anyone over 47 employed in the company!
    I stopped taking taking notes and began feeling ill, my stomach was churning. The CEO was 61 and a woman! After the meeting I was physically sick!
    I and others were made redundant within 12 months. I had two further positions on contracts at a University and a Coal Mining company for 9 months each and at the last one I gave up when made redundant and retired. It is very difficult to keep in the workforce after 40+ years in today's world. The only time I went for financial support was at Retirement. I suffered hardship between jobs. I think I am a survivor, having survived cancer twice and other illnesses along the way. I am enjoying retirement and feel as though I've earned some time off.
    In Outer Orbit
    26th Jun 2016
    6:26am
    Bit late to comment Fran, but hope you may still see it. I was quite moved eading your post, and believe anyone doing so would draw the conclusion that you are one of life's true battlers and heroines. Damn sure you've earned your time off, and be sure to live to 100!

    The Australian Government has a points system for immigrants. Guess what? Youth gets you points. Older age gets you no points. Why? Because Australia values youth, but does not value older age, with all its health burden for youthful society.

    The Sydney set want pretty people on Bondi beach, only, not old farts (ie like most of their parents and grandparents).

    The irony is, that every young Australian will one day be an old Australian, and so surely ALL Australian's should have the same value? In your dreams baby.


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles