Workers aged 65 and older will be responsible for more than half of all UK employment growth over the next 10 years and almost two-thirds of employment growth by 2060.
The Office for National Statistics suggests that by 2030 people aged 65 and over will account for 282,000 new UK employees out of a total 546,000.
By 2060 there will be around 746,000 new employees aged 65 and over out of a total employment growth of 1,193,000 – due in part to baby boomers entering this age group and a greater number of women in work.
The number of over-65s who are employed has increased by 188% in the last 20 years, from 455,000 to 1.31 million, and the proportion has grown from just over 5% to just under 11%. In the past 10 years the number has increased from 763,000 to 1.3 million – a 71% increase.
Around one in four people aged between 50 and the state pension age currently out of work, and older workers who fall out of work remaining out of work for longer than people of other ages.
Patrick Thomson, a senior programme manager at the Centre for Ageing Better
, said: "...it’s crucial that people aren’t forced to work in their late 60s and 70s because of financial insecurity, and that the kinds of work people are doing later in life is fulfilling and suitable. Few of us can expect to reach 65 without a disability or health condition, so employers must do more to support health in the workplace. And as recent figures showed, by the age of 56 more than one in five of us can expect to be caring for a loved one. So better rights are needed for carers at work, including measures such as flexible working and paid carers’ leave.”