Record numbers of over 50s in work

Record numbers of over 50s are now in work, but that isn’t a cause for complacency, according to new analysis.

Older worker at a meeting

 

Fiona Lockyer retired as a hotel general manager four years ago at the age of 56, but when Covid arrived, she felt she was lacking purpose and wanted to find it again. She spotted an advert for a role as a casual wedding registrar and applied. Four years on, she describes it as ‘a joyful job’ and has even taken on a second job as a part-time barista. The jobs give her both purpose and flexibility and allow her to pursue her passion for travel.

She is just one of a growing number of over 50s who have contributed to record numbers of over 50s in work. According to analysis of Office of National Statistics figures employment levels amongst the over 50s are at an all time high – in large part due to increasing longevity, the equalising of the pension age and the rise in the State Pension Age – with the number of such employees close to equalising the number of employees aged 35-49 for the first time in history.

Rest Less’ analysis found that the proportion of the UK workforce aged over 50 has grown from 21% to 33% in the past 30 years, with a spike since Covid and the cost of living crisis.

Dr Emily Andrews, Deputy Director for Work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “We should not allow these history-making figures to lull us into a false sense of complacency. The data also tells us that there are over 200,000 more older workers out of the labour market since before the pandemic. We know that hundreds of thousands of people aged 50 and over would love to add to these employment figures if there were jobs out there with the right support.”

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