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What does the CIPD’s latest outlook survey have to say about age?

by on October 30, 2014

The CIPD have produced their latest ‘Outlook Survey’ which summarizes “key findings” about the state of employment in the UK (based on a survey of 2634 UK employees).  The sample is apparently weighted to be representative across UK sectors, industry, contract type and gender.  Although results are reported by age category there is no information on the sample age breakdown.  The survey covers a number of key areas though the definition of constructs deployed is not clearly explained (so there is no explanation, for example, of what they mean by a statement that a particular percentage of employees are engaged).

With those particular caveats out of the way, here are the highlights reported in respect to age:

  • a ‘considerable rise’ in the job satisfaction of older workers (defined as over 55), with the lowest scores for job satisfaction reported in the 18-24 year age category
  • “There is little difference in the levels of satisfaction with the line manager across organisations of different sizes, and between younger and older employees”. Roughly two thirds of respondents are ‘satisfied’ with their line manager
  • “Older employees (55+[ figure is 58%]) and those aged 25–34 [53%] are the most likely to be satisfied or very satisfied with their career. On the other hand, only 46% of those in the 18–24-year-old group and 43% of those in the 45–54-year-old group are satisfied or very satisfied with their career to date”.  The report provides a narrative account of the different factors in a career valued by different age groups but there were no summary figures that gave the results for all factors for all ages.

These are somewhat informative but the figures on career, which show an interesting fluctuation across age groups, seem to warrant more unpacking.  Interestingly the report showed an absolutely identical rating of career for men and women (p17) which struck me as so odd I wondered if it might be a typo!

At the end of the day, this is a summary ‘outlook’ survey and it will be interesting to see if the CIPD follow up with any more detailed analysis of the age related factors reported here.


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