Senior citizens more likely to be hired than teens in workforce

Even though the economy is on the rebound, finding a job can still be hard to come by, but the latest reports show senior citizens are having an easier time than teenagers.

The health of the economy can play a big role in whether someone has to work past the typical retirement age. Experts said it could be part of the reason why more and more seniors are seeking out work in the La Crosse area.

They also said it’s important to help teens enter the workforce.

Edie Stinger can still remember looking for his first few jobs as a teenager.

“It was a little bit more difficult to find a job, but it’s just connections, who you know and the timing of when a job opens,” said Stinger.


Now at the age of 23, and armed with a master’s degree, he has a job. He’s just looking for some extra money.

“I was just looking for something just to get a couple of extra hours,” said Stinger.

Stinger is one of a couple dozen attending the Job fest at Olsten Staffing Services in La Crosse.

The company helps pair people looking for a job with companies wanting to hire.

“That’s what their businesses are looking for is people that have work experience,” said Mandi Beach, a recruiter with the company.

New national data reports certain people have an advantage over others in finding work

Federal records show the age 65 and older work force beat out the 16-to 19-year- olds by more than half a million at the beginning of the year.

Beach said older adults are sometimes hired faster because experience usually comes with age.

“We have people who have come in and apply with us, and we have them start the next day,” said Beach.

The director of the small business center at UW-L, Anne Hlavack, also said the business model has changed.

“We have businesses that operate longer hours (and) different hours than they might have 15 or 20 years ago,” said Hlavacka. “With that comes the demand and need for individuals. Often times maybe the schedules of an older individual might be more compatible than a student.”

While this may be the trend now, Hlavacka said it’s important to remember teens will one day become older too.

“We do need to emphasize that young people need those opportunities as well because that’s how they’re going to be able to take on better and long term positions,” said Hlavacka.

Hlavacka said the cost of living could be a reason why people ages 65 and older still working or looking for jobs. While they may qualify for social security, that money may not be enough for them to live comfortably.

While national unemployment rate hovers around 7.6 percent, for teens it is 25 percent.