over 50s

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.

More Inside …

Centre for Ageing Better commissions CLES to research helping over 50s get back into work in Greater Manchester

The Centre for Ageing Better has commissioned the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) – in partnership with the Learning and Work Institute – to carry out research and co-design work to address worklessness and job insecurity amongst people aged 50 and over in Greater Manchester.  This project is part of a partnership between Ageing Better and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) with one of the key aims of supporting people aged 50 and over back into work.

Across Greater Manchester, almost one in three people aged 50-64 are not in work  – and more than a fifth of those who are working are in low paid jobs. Low pay is also a significant economic and social challenge for the region. The research and co-design project will develop and test a new approach to support these people and is part of Ageing Better’s commitment to help more people live good later lives. Being out of work or in low quality work in your 50s is associated with poor health, financial insecurity and social isolation, and impacts negatively on wellbeing.