Written By: Sarah O’Grady 22/06/15
BRITAIN’S over 50s are leading the employment boom and driving the UK’s economic resurgence, official figures show today.
Overall, more than 400,000 are in work compared to a year ago, while unemployment has also fallen nearly 350,000 over the same period to its lowest level since August 2008.
But the statistics show huge rises in the number of people aged 50-plus in the workplace.
Their employment is up 225,000 on the year to 8.2 million for people aged 50 to 64 – and up 54,000 this quarter.
Unemployment is down 70,000 on the year and down 8,000 this quarter, found analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics by the Department of Work and Pensions.
Paul Green, of the over 50s campaign group Saga, said: “It’s the enterprise and energy of the nation’s over 50s helping Britain out of the last recession and fuelling a buoyant economy.
“Our research found that if over-50s spending – which accounted for £320bn or 47 per cent of UK household expenditure in 2012 – had only grown at the same rate as under 50s between 2003 and 2013, GDP would have been depressed by 4.2 per cent (£6.8bn) and by 2018 the economy would be 6.8 per cent smaller.
“Older workers really have the ability to help grow and strengthen our job market and our economy as a whole.”
The number of employees working past retirement age is also rising.
There are now 1.2 million people aged 65-plus working – an increase of 53,000 on last year and up 37,000 this quarter.
Minister for Pensions, Baroness Altmann, said: “It’s encouraging to see more older workers choosing to stay in employment for longer. This will improve their lifetime income and can also boost the economy.
A growing number of British firms recognise that having workers in their 50s and 60s alongside younger colleagues can boost business. Employers that retain the skills of their older workers by offering flexible working options and re-training opportunities really see the benefits.”
The figures show that older workers are not squeezing younger people out of the job market.
The number of employed over 50s is far lower than the number of 16-49-year-olds in a job.
Over February – April 2015, there were 8.22 million employed 50-64-year-olds, versus 7.99 million one year earlier.
This compares to 21.67 million employed 16-49-year-olds over February – April 2015, versus 21.52 million over the same period in 2013.
The UK’s workforce is ageing and between 2012 and 2022 an extra 3.7m people will be aged between 50 and State Pension age, ONS figures show.
Source: Express http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/585995/Britain-50-s-leading-employment-boom