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Unemployed in your 50s Too old to work, too young to retire

It has become very hard for qualified workers over 50 to find a new job. International companies in particular increasingly prefer hiring young managers. (SRF 10vor10/

Former banker Niklaus Gnädinger is 55 years old and has a family to look after. He lost his job four years ago. Despite a university degree he wasn’t able to find new work in his field. He started driving a taxi, but had to stop because of sight problems.

In 2004 around 3,800 degree-educated over 50-year-olds were unemployed. By 2013 it was over 6,100.

According to recruiters, big corporations are becoming less willing to invest in training older staff.

Johannes Grässli is 61 and has become unemployed for the first time. With the aid of a human resources consultant he practises job interview situations with a video camera. The goal is to learn how to best sell his strengths.

Today over 40% of the long-term unemployed in Switzerland are over 50. Many are highly qualified.

Even after hundreds of applications they can’t find work. The many rejections lead to frustration. Many in Grässli’s situation don’t like to talk about their situation.

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