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Economics explains discrimination in the labour market
Economics explains discrimination in the labour market

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3.3 Other disadvantaged groups

Information on other disadvantaged groups, such as older workers or people with disabilities, is even harder to come by. The problems faced by older workers in the labour market have become an increasing cause for concern in recent years. The nature of the disadvantage faced by older workers is, however, much harder to uncover and the evidence is often anecdotal. One trend that has become evident during the past three decades is the difficulty older workers have in obtaining any work and, in many cases, the jobs that are available often pay older workers significantly lower wages than they previously received. Until recently, job adverts could specify age limits (in contrast to race and gender) in the UK, though such practices have long been made illegal in some countries, such as the US, Canada and France.

High general unemployment in the 1980s and 1990s had a significant impact on the employment opportunities for people with disabilities as they had to compete with large numbers of ‘able-bodied’ workers. The double discrimination facing people with disabilities from ethnic minority places them at even more of a disadvantage than white people with disabilities (Baxter et al, 1990).