Campus News

Assistant professor quoted in story on ageism in the workplace

Matt Knepper, an assistant professor of economics in the Terry College of Business, was recently quoted in a Kenosha News article about ageism in the workplace.

Because ageism increases with the unemployment rate, recessions and down markets intensify workplace age-based discrimination, especially for women.

Experts recommend people apply to public sector jobs, as private firms tend to discriminate significantly more than employers in the public sector.

“In general, public agencies typically have a set of rules and regulations that they have to follow for how they screen employees,” Knepper said.

All this discrimination during recessions likely happens, by the way, because when there are many applicants for one job, employers can be choosy and let their biases blossom. Conversely, when only one qualified person applies for a job, that person will likely get hired, regardless of age (or gender or race). The researchers suspected this but were shocked by the enormity of the numbers.

“The surprise came by way of the magnitude,” said Knepper. “Everyone gets older. No matter how you fight it, eventually you will be an individual who is susceptible to age discrimination.”