New research finds higher long-term unemployment among 50-64 year olds

Workers between the ages of 50 and 64 are one third more likely than their younger colleagues to be unemployed in the long-term.

The employment and training website for the over 50s, Rest Less have analysed the latest data from the Office of National Statistics Labour Force Survey (May-July 2019), to show that those aged 50-64 are more likely than any other age group to remain unemployed in the long-term (two years or more).

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, commented on the data: 

“There are nearly 60,000 people in the 50-64 year age band that have been out of work for more than two years but this doesn’t take into account the many more who simply stop looking when they can’t find work and therefore drop out of the unemployment numbers. Unless more support is provided, we risk the creation of a ‘forgotten generation’ who can’t find work and simply stop looking – withdrawing from the labour market and often suffering from loneliness and isolation as a result.”

The analysis also showed that:

  • One in five people (21%, 272,000) who are unemployed in the UK are aged over 50
  • Of the 171,000 people unemployed for more than 24 months, more than one in three (37%) are aged over 50
  • 38% of men who are unemployed for 24 months or more are aged over 50 compared with 35% of women

Dr John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist consultancy commented: 

“These data offer a timely reminder that the welcome rise in employment rates for older workers in recent years masks the reality many still face in the jobs market. Unfair discrimination in hiring leaves older job seekers frequently confronting a choice between long-term unemployment or joining the burgeoning ranks of self-employed odd jobbers. While employers are becoming ever more aware of the strong business case for employing and investing in older people, it’s therefore clear that much faster progress is needed.”

Read the research on Restless.

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