Centre for Ageing Better

Radical change needed to tackle ‘unemployment trap’ leaving over a million over 50s out of work

A new report, published today, by the Centre for Ageing Better calls for a radical rethink to tackle chronic worklessness experienced by the over 50s, with data showing this age group experience an ‘unemployment trap’ – they are more likely to be out of work than most younger age groups, and once unemployed they struggle more than younger jobseekers to get back into employment.

Key points to note are:

  • Almost a third of 50-64 year olds in the UK are not in work – some 3.6 million people.
  • 50-64 year olds have an ‘economic inactivity’ rate of 27% – more than double that among 35-49 year olds (13%).
  • Around one million of these people left work involuntarily due to issues such as ill health, caring responsibilities or redundancy.
  • Once out of work, older jobseekers struggle to get back into the labour market. Some 38% of unemployed over 50s have been out of work for over a year, compared to 19% of 18-24 year olds.

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