Labour Market Continues to Improve for People Aged 50+

The UK labour market continues to improve for people aged 50+ with another record high for the number of people aged 50-64 in employment.  The number in work has risen by 318,000 over the past year and the employment rate for 50-64 year olds has risen faster (+1.3 per cent ) than for any other age group over the period. Two-thirds (69.3 per cent) of the total rise in UK employment over the past year has been amongst those aged 50+.
But how many in this age group classified as ‘employed’ are in fact self employed is not known nor how much work they are actually doing nor how much income they are generating.  Some may be doing very little or no work.

The gender divide in unemployment amongst the 50+ persists. Whilst unemployment amongst men aged 50+ fell by 32,000 to 230,000 over the past year, for women aged 50+ it has risen by 35,000 to 163,000.  The same trend can be seen in the long term unemployment figures.  The number of men aged 50+ who were unemployed for 12 months or more fell by 17,000 over the past year, but it rose by 5,000 amongst women aged 50+.

The statistics for people aged 50+ are as follows:

Employment: The number of people aged 50-64 in work rose 63,000 to 7.87 million.  The rise was split in favour of women in this age group (+12,000 for men versus +51,000 for women). The employment rate rose 0.3 per cent to 68.3 per cent, the highest since comparable records began in 1992, and up from 67.0 per cent compared with a year earlier.

The number of people aged 65 and over in work fell by 28,000 to 1.04 million. The decrease was unevenly split between men and women (Men: -3,000 versus -25,000 for women.)  The employment rate for people aged 65+ was 9.6 per cent, up from 9.2 per cent a year earlier.

Unemployment: The number of people aged  50+ who were unemployed fell by 11,000 to 393,000 (4.2 per cent over the three month period but was 3,000 higher than a year earlier.  The latest fall in unemployment in this age group was once again mostly amongst men (-8,000 versus  -3,000 for women).

Long-term unemployment (12 months and over) fell by 13,000 to 175,000.  The e reduction was evenly split (-7,000 for men versus -6,000 for women.)

Claimant Count: The number of people aged 50+ claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in December fell by 4,500 to 217,000.  The figures for men were down 3,100 to 140,300, whilet for women they were down 1,400 to 76,700 over the previous month.

The number of people aged 50+ claiming for 12 months or more fell by 900 to 87,700 (-800 for men and -100 for women).  

Economic Inactivity: The number of 50-64 year olds who were economically inactive rose by 2,000 to 3.28 million (28.5 per cent).  Compared with the previous year, the figure was 101,000 lower. The rise was entirely amongst men (+22,000 versus -20,000 for women).

The number of economically inactive people aged 65+ increased by 87,000 to 9.71 million.  It rose by 93,000 over the previous year.

Click here for a table of the statistics.