A study of almost 800 older adults showed a sharp increase in the numbers of people losing their jobs due to age discrimination.
The number of people being made redundant has increased from 32 per cent to 47 per cent between last autumn and May this year.
The economic downturn had also sparked an increase in those who said they were "desperate" to find a job - up from 30 per cent to 39 per cent.
The Age and Employment Network said its research also showed a rise in the number of employers telling people they were too old to fill a vacancy.
The survey showed that more than seven out of ten respondents said they had been told they were too old for a job, which is up from 63 per cent last year.
However, almost half had been told they were too experienced or over-qualified for a job.
"These shocking figures show the greater barriers the over-50s are facing as the economy has worsened," the Scotsman quoted Chris Ball, chief executive of the group, which campaigns on behalf of older workers as saying.