Over-65s to account for more than half of UK employment growth

Workers aged 65 and over are likely to account for at least half of all UK employment growth in the next 10 years, according to a new analysis of government figures.

The new analysis, from jobs, volunteering and advice website Rest Less, shows that with population changes alone – assuming the current employment rate of each age group remains static – the over-65s will make up 52% of all the UK’s employment growth in the next 10 years, 57% in the next 20 years and perhaps 62% by 2060.

Using Office for National Statistics figures, Rest Less’s authors also found that in the past 20 years the number of over-65s who were employed had grown from 455,000 to 1.31 million, a 188% increase. In the past 10 years the equivalent figures are 763,000 to 1.31 million and 71%.

The ONS figures were released in a dataset called Employment, Unemployment and Economic activity, on 17 December.

They also revealed that in the past 20 years, the employment rate for the over-65s has more than doubled from 5.1% to 10.9%.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, commented on the analysis: “Today’s over-65s are healthier and more active than previous generations and many who are fit and able to work tell us that they have no intention of fully retiring any time soon. People’s reasons for continuing to work post state pension age vary wildly, from those who are choosing to top up their pension pots while they still can, to those who want to keep working for the love of the job, or for the health and wellbeing benefits.”

He added that the “longevity dividend” had “the potential to be one of the biggest societal opportunities in modern times,” if fully embraced.

But age discrimination was still a factor, with Rest Less analysis of ONS data in October showing that discrimination in hiring was still excluding many older people from the labour market with Dr John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist consultancy, stating that “While employers are becoming ever more aware of the strong business case for employing and investing in older people, it’s therefore clear that much faster progress is needed.”

Lewis added that while the increasing numbers of over-65s in the workplace unlocked potential for employers to embrace a talented, flexible and highly skilled workforce, “it also requires many employers to change their outdated stereotypes of age in the workplace and reconsider how they engage with and attract talented older employees”.

4 Responses to Over-65s to account for more than half of UK employment growth

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    Joss Fehmi 29 Dec 2019 at 12:13 pm #

    This is rubbish all the over 65’s I know still work as can’t live on the terrible state pension. One of the worst in the world, they would love to stop working but can’t. I struggle to keep working and would love nothing more than to retire but in case you didn’t notice they raised the pension age to 66! I paid into a pension but unfortunately a ringfenced pension so I have to keep going, I have no choice. This isn’t some kind of great thing it’s rubbish we are poor and I’ll and want to stop working.

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    Pamela Hardy 29 Dec 2019 at 1:19 pm #

    what a horribly skewed article, although some over 65s are working because they want to , I think you will find the majority have no choice, because the government commitment to starving the old and sick out of existence.

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    Judith Chapman 29 Dec 2019 at 1:42 pm #

    Unfortunately we have no choice but to work the stinking thieving tory government have stolen our pensions. I really think you need to get your facts correct before writing anymore on this subject, we haven’t got a choice at all

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    Kath 29 Dec 2019 at 4:44 pm #

    Here’s a thought, maybe the growth in older people in work has something to do with the government thieving our pensions and changing the pension age to 66. The thieving bast##ds moved the goalposts . Some of us will be lucky to live to 66 to claim it with the health issues we have. Open your eyes and ears, talk to some Waspi women. Educate yourselves.

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