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Ageism in the workplace: What older workers can do to stay employed

What older workers can do to stay employed
Ageism in the workplace: What older workers can do to stay employed 04:28

A new study from ProPublica and the Urban Institute claims about 56 percent of Americans over the age of 50 have faced or could face "employer-driven" job loss. LinkedIn editor-in-chief Dan Roth told "CBS This Morning" those numbers are "terrifying."

"We knew it was tough. We didn't realize it was this tough," he said. "It means the majority of us will be hit by this at some time in our lives. This will affect everyone and the study shows it doesn't matter your income, age, what geography you're in, what industry you're in. It affects everyone."

A few of the reasons older workers get targeted include their typically higher incomes and a lack of new skills.  Some companies are also looking to make room for millennials who now make up the majority of the workforce.

"You know, when you work at a company, it's a pyramid, you have to climb your way to the top. In order to give promotions and raises to people, it means you've got to clear some room at the top. Those are older workers. So there's a lot of things that are stacked -- the deck is stacked against older workers," Roth said.  

That said, there are a number of benefits to employing older workers. They're happier, take fewer sick days, have more experience and are better at problem solving, Roth said.

"It is a no-brainer to have older workers in the workplace," he said. "For a company that's thinking long term and how to make sure that you have -- that you're competitive, you should have more older workers in your workplace … that will be a huge benefit to you."

There are a few things Roth recommends older workers do to protect themselves, including keeping skills up to date and finding a side hustle.

"You have to constantly be training. I don't think this is true just of older workers. If I were in my 30s, 40s, you have to start getting the skills now 'cause you don't want to suddenly start playing catch-up. You have to continuously be learning," he said. "You want to have a side hustle going on because the truth is that if you have a high likelihood of being pushed out, which all of us do, then you want to make sure there's something you can fall back on, even if you don't earn as much. You want to be your own boss."

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