Deep unemployment backfires
Companies are no longer ashamed to put over 50s on the street
The labor market has dried up, finding a job is easier than it used to be. This now has a paradoxical effect: Older employees are no longer treated with care – they are dismissed without a word in the event of reorganization.
Published: 3 minutes ago
Updated 01/18/2023 at 7:42 p.m
The hurdle to firing employees over 50 is falling.
Sarah FrattaroliDeputy Head of Economics
So far, anyone who lays off over 50s risks negative headlines and damage to their reputation. However, this seems to bother companies in Switzerland less and less. Over 50-year-olds no longer enjoy any special moral protection in the event of waves of layoffs.
An evaluation shows that the termination rate for over 50s is significantly higher than for the other age groups. It is based on figures from the von Rundstedt outplacement company, which helps employees to reorient themselves after they have been laid off.
Von Rundstedt CEO Pascal Scheiwiller (49) attributes the dwindling sympathy for the over-50s to the current low unemployment rate of 2.2 percent. “Apparently, the many vacancies mean that employers are no longer worried about those affected.”
Job search is faster
According to the calculation, 39 percent of all layoffs concern over 50-year-olds. In the previous year, the rate was still 31 percent. “Relatively speaking, many more people over 50 are laid off,” concludes Scheiwiller. This proves that the old age guillotine is still a fact, even if it is being pushed up due to the shortage of skilled workers.
The good news: Older employees find a new job more easily thanks to the shortage of skilled workers. According to the evaluation, people over 50 are currently looking for a new job for 6.1 months. Just two years ago, looking for a job took an average of 8.3 months.
However, this does not hide the fact that older employees still find it much more difficult to find a new job than younger ones. Across all age groups, the job search currently only takes 5.2 months.
Is this the trend reversal?
However: If you look at the evaluation not for the whole of 2022, but in more detail, a trend reversal is emerging: In the second half of 2022, von Rundstedt registered more job cuts and restructuring. “There will be more layoffs again in the near future,” predicts Scheiwiller.
This is due to the gloomy economic prospects. However, one does not have to reckon with a sharp rise in unemployment for a long time, but rather with a normalization on the labor market.