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Job dissatisfaction and a feeling of being left behind at work were in part to blame for the exodus of over 50s during the pandemic, according to new research.
Job dissatisfaction was behind many over 50s’ decision to leave the workforce during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new research.
Research by Phoenix Insights analysed annual job satisfaction data from 2009/10 to 2020/21 and found those leaving the workforce in their 50s during the pandemic experienced declining satisfaction in the years running up to their departure, well before state pension age. In contrast, job satisfaction was increasing slightly for those who chose to remain in work.
Phoenix Insights’ polling of 1,000 people over 50 and additional focus group research supported these findings. 59% of people in their 50s said older workers are being left behind by employers, and a further 34% of the same age group who were still working said they were not fulfilled by their job.
Participants in the focus groups said they enjoyed their work earlier in their careers, but experiences in the workplace became increasingly negative with age.
Catherine Foot, Director of Phoenix Insights, said: “Huge numbers of people in their 50s dropped out of work during and immediately after the coronavirus pandemic and our research suggests job dissatisfaction played a big part in this. While some over-50s have returned to work over the last year, the pace of return has been slow with many remaining dissatisfied or facing barriers and insufficient support to re-enter the workforce.
“Good quality, satisfying jobs matter to people of all ages. For those over 50, we know that it’s particularly important that jobs provide flexibility, support for people with caring responsibilities and health conditions, and opportunities to develop skills. We also know from our research how crucial it is that businesses tackle what can be quite subtle but deeply ingrained ageism in their recruitment process.”
Phoenix Group and Phoenix Insights are partnering on the Careers can change campaign and will be raising awareness of the issues people face working in later life by sponsoring workingwise.co.uk’s upcoming National Older Workers Week.