There are bold programmers but no old programmers. That fear-tinged saying echoes even more today among software developers, who fear the recession provides a handy cover for age discrimination in the high-tech world. But a closer look suggests that it's the nature of IT itself to push its elderly workers out, and in an odd twist, the recession—at least for now—has actually protected older workers.
Take a look at the numbers. When you break down the unemployment rate by age group, here's how it pans out: 16.7 percent for everyone aged 15 to 24, 8.2 percent for everyone aged 25 to 44, and 6.3 percent for everyone aged 45 and older. So, the older you are, the less likely you are to be unemployed.
Federal records show that the older you are, the more money you're likely to be making: The median weekly salary for workers in the 16-to-24 age bracket is about 41 percent less than what someone aged 25 to 44 makes—and they're making 6 percent less than the folks in the 55-and-up group. Unfair as this seems, the more you're making, the less likely you are to be unemployed.
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