Job seekers over 50 now outnumber those in the youngest age range.
Figures from Jobcentre Plus showed there were 255 older claimants in Crawley in January compared to 220 in December.
Of these, 65 had been out of work for more than a year.
By contrast, in December there were only 140 claimants aged 18-24 – a drop of 25 since November.
Paul Niner, of Mid Sussex Jobcentre Plus, said the figures for older claimants were “a much bigger percentage of the whole register than a year ago” – and presented a different range of problems when it came to finding work.
He added: “We are looking at providing appropriate support as we recognise that there are particular issues faced by older claimants.”
Mr Niner said Jobcentre Plus was currently working with a Social Enterprise company called Betafutures, who were piloting a skills programme in Redhill.
He said: “It is essentially a skills exchange club and allows 50+ customers to learn and develop new skills such as using social media effective, enjoy the opportunity to network, share own skills and knowledge with others, be able to coach/mentor the younger generation and access employment opportunities.
“We hope to deliver something in Crawley shortly.”