A decade-long rise in the number of over-50s in employment in England has stalled, prompting concerns that older people are being “prematurely shuffled out of the labour market”.
there was a fall in the employment rate among 50- to 64-year-olds of 3.4 percentage. The analysis also reveals signs of a drop-off in participation as workers progress through their 50s, with about 60% who leave work not doing so by choice or retirement but because of redundancy or other negative reasons.
“Today’s data shows the growth trend in over-50s employment that had continued for a decade has stopped,” said Andy Briggs, the chair of business at Business in the Community, “In fact, the chilling truth is that this trend has already gone into reverse."
Briggs said the over-50s in particular were most likely to struggle to find employment once out of work “so it was important we protect this age group, otherwise they could face a lifetime of poverty in their later years”.
Emily Andrews, the senior evidence manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: “In the year that the state pension age reaches 66, we cannot allow people in their 50s and 60s to be prematurely shuffled out of the labour market.”
Laura Stewart-Smith, the workplace savings manager at Aviva said: “As the state pension age rises, it’s increasingly necessary for millions of workers to continue working in their midlife and beyond. But sharp falls in employment as people age could suggest many are struggling to do this...For UK PLC, the loss of participation represents a huge drain in talent, skill and expertise.”