Middle-aged Israelis Face Disadvantages in the Job Market, Survey Finds

71% of Israelis over 50 who are searching for jobs are doing so because they were fired, as for people between the ages of 20 and 29, that figure is only 14%, figures show.

Some 71% of the people over 50 who are searching for jobs in Israel are doing so because they were fired, a survey has found. For people between the ages of 20 and 29, that figure is only 14%.

The survey included a sample of more than 1,000 job seekers, and was conducted by the job search portal Drushim.

Even after taking into account that a certain percentage of the 20- to 29-year-olds were likely searching for their first job and thus could not have been fired, these figures still indicate that middle-aged workers face a disadvantage in Israel’s job market.

For younger workers, the main reason for searching for a job was improving salary and social benefits − 25% of people aged 20 to 29 said this was why they were job searching. The figure dropped as people got older: It was 21% for people aged 30-39, 14% for people aged 40-49 and only 9% for people 50-plus. On average, 18% of people said they were job searching in order to improve their employment terms.

A significant portion of younger workers also said the reason for their job search was that they felt they’d hit a glass ceiling. Some 22% of people aged 20-29 and 30-39 checked this reason. Only 16% of people aged 40-49 and 5% of people aged 50-plus cited this reason.

Overall, the largest percentage of workers said they were looking for a new job because they’d been fired − 37% of all respondents. The second most common reason was that they’d lost interest in their job, cited by 22% of all respondents. The third most common reasons were improving employment terms, as well as the feeling that they’d hit a glass ceiling − 18% of all respondents cited these two reasons, respectively. Only 6% said they were leaving due to poor relations with colleagues or managers.

The survey found that 40% of men − 760 of all respondents − were job searching because they’d been fired, compared to 30% of women respondents. Women were more likely to say they were searching for a new job because they’d lost interest in their current job − 27% of women said this, compared to 19.5% of men.

Drushim Portal co-CEO Dror Epstein said the findings for the 50-plus crowd were worrying. “The figures need to set off a red light among employers and the government. Firing a worker who is over 50 condemns him de facto to a long, tiring job search process, and if we take into account the increase in life expectancy, then we’re looking at a significant problem in Israel’s job market.”

Reuters