Breaking Down the Statistics of Age Discrimination at Work


We hear about age discrimination in the workplace, but it can be difficult to understand how widespread the problem is—even if you’ve experienced it. As many employees in the workforce are reaching age 45 or more, it’s more important to prevent ageism and age-related discrimination in workplaces across America than ever before. With approximately 20% of the U.S. workforce, or 33 million workers, over the age of 55, age discrimination has plenty of victims.

Workplace Age Discrimination by the Numbers

Age discrimination can come in many forms. Whether it’s exclusion from trainings, being passed over for promotions, hurtful comments about an employee’s age, or even unfair disciplinary action, age discrimination’s impact cannot be overlooked. Age discrimination is pushing older workers out of the workforce. There are many statistics showing how age discrimination affects older workers, as seen below.

Age Discrimination Facts & Statistics:

  • The number of age discrimination complaints is rising. In 2013, there were 21,000 complaints about age discrimination filed with the EEOC, up from 15,000 complaints filled in 1997.
  • More than 64% of workers have experienced or witnessed a form of age discrimination in the workplace.
  • A little over half (58%) of American employees believe that age discrimination usually starts when a worker is in their 50s.
  • Job hunting takes longer for older employees. On average, it takes workers who are more than 55 years old an additional 3 months to find a new position, versus younger jobseekers.
  • One-third of older workers have experienced or witnessed age discrimination first-hands since 2008.
  • Many older workers aren’t prepared for retirement. Only 29% of workers approaching retirement age report that they have enough money saved up to retire or are close to having enough saved.
  • About one-third of older workers are planning to continue working for a few years past retirement age to support their retirement better.
  • More than 15% of retirees are rejoining the workforce to make ends meet.
  • 1 in 5 U. S. workers is at least 55 years old.

When older employees are discriminated against, everyone suffers. Younger employees lose valuable mentors and experienced supervisors. Companies lose decades of innovation and experience. Older workers lose opportunities to contribute to their company, find fulfillment in their work, and ensure their financial security. Consumers and clients lose creative idea producers and knowledgeable professionals. When age discrimination continues unchecked, no one will benefit in the long run.

If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of age discrimination, Donati Law, PLLC is on your side. We’re dedicated to ensuring that every worker is treated fairly and that their rights are respected. Our experienced, caring Memphis employment law attorneys are ready to discuss your legal options today. Schedule a consultation to learn more.

Contact our firm by calling (901) 209-5500.

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