A new report from the Centre for Ageing Better and the Learning and Work Institute shows that older people are more at risk of unemployment than their younger colleagues, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the furlough scheme draws to a close at the end of October, unemployment across all ages is already on the rise, and their are concerns, highlighted in this report that older workers will be left behind without action from the government.
The report states that, one in four older workers – 2.5 million in total – have been furloughed, and hundreds of thousands of these workers may be unable to return to their previous jobs as some sectors struggle to recover.
It also finds that older workers who lose their jobs are far more likely to slip into long-term worklessness. Just one in three (35%) over 50s who lose their job return to work quickly, compared to two in three (63%) workers aged 25-34. Over 50s who are unemployed are twice as likely to have been out of work for over a year than those aged 18 to 24.
Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“As this report shows, older workers have been hit hard by the crisis, and it’s crucial that they are not forgotten in the recovery efforts.
“Without action we could see many in their 50s and 60s falling out of the workforce years before their state pension age and struggling to get by until they are able to draw their pension.
“We know that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work when it comes to helping over 50s back to work. Instead we need to see targeted support, and a strong message from government that these workers are just as entitled to support as younger age groups.”