Advertising: Ageist employers up to old tricks

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The Independent Online
The number of ageist job advertisements has fallen but employers are still excluding older people by using coded language, a survey has revealed.

The three-month survey of more than 8,000 advertisments showed the number stipulating age limit had halved over the past two years to 6 per cent but many companies are using phrases such as "a young team" or "a young outlook" to signal the preferred age of applicants.

Studies in the 1980s found 30-42 per cent of adverts contained age limits, but since then employers have been told it is not acceptable to discriminate on the basis of age. However, as yet there are no official regulations governing job adverts. In the 10 years to 1997 the number of men aged 40-64 and women aged 40-59 who were unemployed or classed as economically inactive rose by 79,000 to 4.2 million.