American workers age 50 and over are ready and willing to seek new job opportunities, but most believe employers discriminate against them due to their age.

In fact, a national AARP survey found 64% of workers age 50 and over believe employers see their age as a disadvantage in the hiring process, and 79% of workers 65 and over believe it hurts them.

The survey, conducted in August, included 1,003 Americans age 50 and over, working or looking for work. It found one-fifth of the labor force participants over age 50 indicated that they looked for a new job within the past year, and another 16% considered looking for one.

Meanwhile, 35% of those workers report that they are likely to apply for a new job within the next three years. However, two-thirds of them have a pessimistic view of the hiring process, believing employers will see their age as a disadvantage. 

And with older workers believing strongly that some employers practice ageism, many have chosen to stay away from the job market. Almost half of workers age 50 and over said they have not applied for a job in 10 years, and almost a quarter said it has been 20 years since they made that move.

As for the resume, four-in-10 participants said they have not touched up their resume in 10 years. That figure among workers 65 and older rose to 49%.

But there are still some older workers who continue to pound the pavement in search of that next opportunity. The survey found 38% have updated their resume within the past three years and four-in-10 workers have applied for a new position in the past five years.

Then there are those few (9%) who believe being at the 50-year mark or older does not affect an employers’ decision in the hiring process. In fact, they believe employers would see their age as an advantage.