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Survey: Almost half of tech workers worry about losing their jobs because of ageism

More than 40 percent of tech workers worry about losing their jobs because of age, a new survey shows.

Jobs site Indeed also found that 18 percent of those who work in the tech industry worry “all the time” about losing their jobs because of ageism.

The release of the survey Thursday comes amid other news about diversity — or lack thereof — in tech workplaces. Often when we report about diversity issues, readers wonder about older workers. The Indeed survey offers insight into the age of the tech workforce: It’s young.

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Indeed concluded from surveying more than 1,000 respondents in September that the tech workforce is composed of about 46 percent millennials, with 36 percent of respondents saying the average employee age at their company is 31 to 35, and 17 percent saying that the average worker age at their company is 20 to 30.

What about Generation X and baby boomers? Twenty-seven percent of respondents said the average age of employees at their company is 36 to 40, while 26 percent of respondents said the workers at their companies are 40 and older.

“With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that that 25 percent of workers should be 55 and over by 2019, it’s clear that these numbers don’t reflect the diversity of the population when it comes to age,” Raj Mukherjee, senior vice president of Product at Indeed, writes in a blog post about the survey.

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There are lawsuits galore related to the issue. When USA Today counted last year, 90 age-discrimination lawsuits against top tech companies had been filed since 2012. Over the summer, a judge’s ruling revealed that nearly 300 people have signed on to a class-action age-discrimination lawsuit against Google. Other tech companies that have been accused of of age-based discrimination include Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and more.

The Indeed survey also showed that although some techies who are boomers are expanding their job searches outside Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, the San Jose and San Francisco metro areas are the Top 2 spots for job searches by tech workers of all ages. That paints a different picture than some anecdotal evidence about ageism forcing workers to look outside the tech center of the nation.

The survey also found that Seattle is No. 3 for job-searching millennials and Gen Xers, while Huntsville, Alabama is No. 3 for baby boomers. Mukherjee attributed that to the city being a space flight hub, with a strong presence by employers such as Boeing and Northrop Grumman there.

The online survey was conducted by a third-party research firm, and participants were selected based on their years of experience, with the average respondent working in the tech industry for 15 years and 9 months, Indeed said.

 

Photo: Tech workers outside a Google office building. (Bay Area News Group archives)

 

Tags: age, ageism, diversity, survey, tech workers

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