Over 65s Fuelling 'Mini-Jobs' in London

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has published a report examining the quality and quantity of ‘mini-jobs’ – those of less than 16 hours a week – in London.

The report, entitled Mini-Jobs in the London Labour Market describes how the concept of mini-jobs gained prominence during the welfare reforms of the early to mid 2000’s following the Labour Government’s initiatives aimed at increasing employment rates amongst lone parents.

Policy makers saw jobs of less than 16 hours a week as an important stepping stone for parents and lone parents aiming to return to work gradually. Studies at the time supported this approach and reported that mini-jobs improved motivation, employability and were a route for people looking to progress to working 16 hours or more.

The concept of mini-jobs have once again returned to the forefront of the policy agenda as part of current welfare reforms, with the Government extending or increasing the level of support available to jobseekers looking to re-enter the labour market by way of short hour roles.

Economic models predict a favourable response to the new incentives which could lead to an increase in demand for short hour roles, however there is still uncertainty about the wider impacts this could have on the number or type of mini-jobs available in the wider economy.

Using data from the Annual Population Survey, the report establishes a baseline for future exploration of mini-jobs in London, providing a snapshot of the quantity and quality of mini-jobs in London and identifying the characteristics and composition of the workforce.

The report found that the propensity for mini-jobs was highest amongst those aged 65 or higher, with one in three (24,000) of those aged 65 and over and in employment work less than 16 hours a week in London.

Between the ages of 25 and 64, the likelihood of being employed in a role of less than 16 hours per week increases with age.

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