Number of workers in Britain over 65 at record high

Number of workers in Britain over 65 at record high

The number of workers in Britain aged over 65 has risen above 1 million for the first time. The data founded by Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that one person in ten at the state pension age now has a job.

The ONS Employment rose by 24,000 during the quarter, beating the City’s expectations of a small fall in the number of people in work. The ONS said there were now 29.76 million people in employment, up 432,000 on a year ago. Older workers’ employment levels have been gradually increasing year on year, driven by longer and healthier lives, as well as financial concerns.

However, younger people had a tougher time breaking into the jobs market. The number of 16-24 year olds in employment fell by 4,000 to 3.68 million in the three months to April. A recent article in the Guardian speculates that firms increasingly prefer older employees to younger staff which is having a detrimental affect on the young unemployment.

At the other end of the spectrum however, The Financial Times commented on how the growing number of older workers is fulfilling crucial economic and social needs.Older workers who accumulated great knowledge and skills throughout their career and experience are proving valuable assets to firms. Despite the high number of unemployed to job vacancies, firms need people with the right skills so are looking to older workers.

Department for Work and Pensions said:“Enabling older people who can work, to stay in work is critical to the economy and pensions sustainability – and to the financial, health and social well-being of individuals,” the Department for Work and Pensions said.

However this raises the issue of how effective the education system and training initiatives are for young employees,  and also if these older workers are working pass the pension age due to choice or because the support provided from pensions is lacking. What are your thoughts?


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