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Young & old spend same amount of time job-hunting: Statistics Canada

People wait at a human resources centre in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody

A new Statistics Canada study says older unemployed workers spend as much time looking for a job as younger ones.

The agency says unemployed people aged 55 to 64 spent an average of 13 hours a week looking for work — the same as those between the ages of 20 and 34.

But the study found key differences in the way each age group looked for jobs.

Older people were more likely to look at job ads and less likely to use the Internet than younger job hunters.

Younger people were more likely to contact employers directly as their main method of finding a job.

Both age groups turned to employment agencies in similar numbers.

The study also found both older and younger unemployed workers were equally willing to look for a job outside their community.

Older workers were more willing to work for 10 per cent less money than younger workers.

But Statistics Canada says most older unemployed workers were down on their chances of finding a good job in the next three months. Fifty-eight per cent felt their chances of landing an acceptable job were “not very good” — nearly twice the proportion of the younger unemployed workers.

The older group was more likely to blame their health and age as obstacles to their job search.

The length of the unemployment spell didn’t change people’s job search habits. Old and young alike spent the same amount of time looking for a job after 24 weeks of unemployment as they did during their first eight weeks of joblessness.

The study covered the four-year period between 2006 and 2010.