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Longer working lives and the ‘older worker hotspot’

by on August 20, 2014

Our friends at City law firm Lewis Silkin have produced this useful analysis of the impact of the abolition of the Default Retirement Age (DRA) in 2011, using data from the ONS and specifically looking at employment rates of those over 65.

They compare the period post abolition with the 1990s (when the number of over 65s in employment was relatively static at between 400,000-500,000) and the noughties (when the figure grew consistently, reaching 800,000 by early 2011). Post DRA abolition, the number of over 65s in employment has increased by an average of 7,600 per month.  The number in this group in fact increases by over twice as many each month than previously. Even during the economic recession the number continued to grow, albeit more slowly, showing the extent to which some of us are experiencing longer working lives.

What about those in the age group 50 to 64? The Government has released employment rate figures for this group (referred to as ‘older workers’) shown as a comparison between local authorities (press release and link to data via this link). The geographical variation has prompted a couple of papers (the Daily Mail and the Courier) to refer to areas with higher rates of employment as ‘older worker hotspots’.

According to the figures, Watford (89.5% of this age group in work), the Shetland Islands (88.3%) and Dorset (87.2%) are the areas with the highest rates of employment among older workers. At the other end of the scale, areas where around half of older workers are out of work include Hyndburn in Lancashire (48.1%), Rossendale in Lancashire (48.2%), west Somerset (49.2%), Tower Hamlets in London (50.6%) and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria (51.7%), prompting observations about the difference in industries and sectors which likely play a part in these variations.

Good to see Ros Altmann quoted as saying: ‘We need to get rid of the traditional stereotype which suggests that people over 50 are too old to learn or change and are expected not to work, even if they want to’.

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2 Comments
  1. Great article, are you based in the UK?

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