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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

Why older people are unemployed

The IFS research trying to suggest older people are retiring earlier while those in work are continuing because they enjoy the work rather than economic necessity appears to be deeply flawed.

The experience of our thousands of senior clients over the years directly challenges this. Firstly 72% of older working age people (50-66)are in employment, a figure which declines for those in their 60s, while long term unemployment is higher for them than all younger demographics. Age UK research shows that for men made unemployed over 58 have a less than 10 % chance of getting a full time job again. Besides those registered as unemployed there are according to studies over a million who are without work but not eligible or engaged with the DWP who want to return to work.

Our own experience and reseatch as a specialist age and employment charity shows the primary reason for unemployment is the institutional ageism of employers from all sectors especially the recruitment industry. While the wealthy may choose eatly retirement or to continue working for pleasure, they are the top 10%. For the majority it is poverty or necessity. The vast majority of the 1.2 million pensioners still working often part time are in low paid insecure jobs.

There are a rising number of people registered as long tern sick due to the prevelance of long covid, but also many who are carers or disabled who still need and want part time work, but with proper contracts, wages and conditions.

The reason is not as the media, govt and biased researchers say of supply but demand. Promote the benefits of age diverse workforces and older eorkers and employers see increased profitability , productivity and staff morale. Unfortunately ageist prejudice and myths blind employers, govt and the media to this.

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