Number of over 50s working part time increases after a fall during Covid.
The number of people aged 50 and older who are working part time now stands at 3.6 million – a record high, according to new analysis.
Rest Less, an over 50s community site, looked at data from the Office of National Statistics which shows the number of part-time and full-time workers by age bracket since the 1990s. They found that the number of over 50s working part time has increased by 12% in the past two years, by 26% in the past decade and by 56% in the past two decades.
They also found that the number of people aged 66 and older (state pension age rose to 66 in 2020) working part time has increased by 18% since 2021 from 661,000 in 2021 to 781,000 in 2023. Significantly more men aged 66 and older are now working part time than women – 426,000 in 2023, an increase of 22% on 2021 figures, compared with 355,000 women, an increase of 14% compared with 2021 figures.
Stuart Lewis, Chief Executive of Rest Less, said: “The number of part-time workers aged over 50 has reached record levels once again in 2023, after recovering from its substantial setback during the pandemic. This trend highlights a paradigm shift in how we view work and retirement. Long gone are the days of the linear career path of one or two full-time roles, 9-5 for five decades followed by a sudden stop at retirement. Today the path is winding and offers more choice than ever before – both in career path and working patterns. Most midlifers today talk about ‘transitions’ rather than ‘stopping’, with many choosing more of a glide into retirement, than jumping off a cliff into the void – and research continues to show this phasing is beneficial for our health, social connections and overall well being.
“In the last few years, we have seen increasing numbers of progressive employers who understand the benefits of age diverse and multi-generational workplaces. In an ageing population where one third of the UKs workforce are now over 50, age inclusive policies are no longer a nice to have and offering flexible and part-time working arrangements is now an essential part of any employee value proposition. For many workers in their 50s, 60s and beyond, flexible part-time work is now a viable option which allows people to maintain an active, purposeful and connected midlife, whilst finding more time for other life responsibilities and enjoyment.”