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A million workers over 65 – what does this mean?

by on June 13, 2013

The announcement in November 2011 that a million young people were out of work in the UK marked the start of new linguistic terms (the ‘Missing Million’ and the ‘Lost Generation’). What will be the effect of yesterday’s announcement that there are now a million workers over 65 in the UK?

In The Guardian there are references to the ‘greying of the workforce’ and claims that this is evidence that ‘firms increasingly prefer older employees to younger staff’. This perpetuates the idea that young and old compete for jobs and that there are only a finite number to go round.

In this item in The Express, we see references to ‘Britain’s “silver army” of elderly workers’ and some new (to us) stock photos of ‘older workers’.

In this article (also in The Express) David Sinclair of the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) warns that the average age of retirement is still too low and that it is ‘important for individuals and the economy that we increase the number of years we spend in the workforce’. This highlights a theme we had blogged about earlier this week, namely the differences in health, education, qualifications and skills within the same generation that can affect both ability to work and the inclination to carry on working beyond 65.

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