Age discrimination is a difficult thing to prove.
Those of us that work in the technology industry know that it is real, and we already know somebody that has had their future destroyed by it, or we are worried that it will happen to us as we grow older.
I am going to try and show you what I have learned in the years since 2003 when I first became unable to find work even though I still had the current skills that our companies say they can’t find.
Please read this all the way to the end so that you will better understand the “Big Picture” as we say in the technology industry before passing judgement.
Many of you will say I have the skills and I keep them current, so it will never happen to me.
All I can say is that we all thought that as well, and I believe there are millions of us that have gone through this, and that I believe it is time that we educate others and do our part to put an end to this as I believe it is destroying the very fabric of our society.
- 1976 – 1982 – Navy Years
- 1983 – 1988 – Electronic Repair, Mil-Spec Burn-in Testing, QA Engineer Years
- 1989 – 2002 – Software Years – Programmer Analyst, Systems Analyst, Team Lead, Project Manager
- 2003 – 2016 – Very little work – Some Software, Some Real Estate as a source of income
The earnings chart to the left is a chart I created showing my annual earnings for each year from 1976 until 2015.
As you can see, I never went without a job until 2003
From 2003 until 2010 I was able to find a small project each year which kept me afloat.
From Sep 2010 until Feb 2016, NOBODY would hire me at any level.
I am now working as a janitor at a local VA hospital even though I still have the skills that our employers, and even our government say they can’t find.
The rest of us that I have heard from have similar stories.
All I can say is that it is not our skills that is keeping us from working, and I will attempt to show you what I believe is happening.
Providing for our family requires a job, unless we are lucky enough to inherit, or win the lottery.
Which means we must examine the numbers showing the total people working each year and the population for each year.
The years from 1939 until about 1964 were the years of the single earner family as I understand from discussions with many.
Starting around 1965 the wives began to work which accounts for the big increase up until about 2000 where we hit a peak in employment that we haven’t yet recovered from.
I realize that many of you will cite the low unemployment rate, but those of us that are no longer counted realize that the only way to get true numbers is to count the unemployed, both long term, and short term, which our federal and state governments refuse to do.
The spreadsheet I used to prepare the chart can be viewed by clicking on the link above this line.
As you can see, job creation is NOT keeping up with the population.
To understand why, we need to understand what has changed.
Around 1976 we began to ship jobs to other countries using Free Trade Agreements.
And in 1990 we began to import guest workers on non-immigrant visas like the H-1B, H-2B, L-1, OPT, B-1, and many others.
To understand the impact that this has, we must first agree on the following 3 items:
- Our population continues to increase which means we need more jobs for all of our people that want to work
- Sending jobs to other countries decreases the amount of jobs available to our people that want to work
- Importing guest workers from other countries decreases the amount of jobs available to our people that want to work
I get it that our world is not creating enough jobs for the people of our world that want to work.
And I am willing to do my part with the leaders of our world to find a way to create more jobs for the people that want to work.
However, that is an entirely different subject and not one that we need to be discussing when we are only discussing our own country.
In the past, our ancestors, deceased, and still alive, could count on continuing their lifestyle and the ability to provide for their children and grandchildren.
But this is rapidly changing simply because our best paying jobs are being sent to other countries.
And non-immigrant guest workers are being imported to take the remaining jobs.
Which is leaving our American citizens fighting over the scraps where they attempt to live on less than what it costs to live in their community after first experiencing losing everything they spent their lives working for.
And unable to provide for their family.
This is NOT the future that we want to build if we truly believe in this: