Addressing worklessness and job insecurity amongst people aged 50 and over in Greater Manchester
This report from the Centre for Ageing Better calls for a radical rethink to tackle chronic worklessness experienced by the over 50s, with data showing this age group experience an ‘unemployment trap'.
There are 3.6 million people in the UK aged 50-64 who are not in work. This represents an unemployment rate of 3% and an economic inactivity rate of 27%, which is more than twice the economic inactivity rate of those aged 35-49 (13%). Most people are no longer in work by the year before they reach state pension age.
Whilst for some, being out of work will be an active choice, for many it is not. It is estimated that of those people aged 50-64 in the UK who report themselves as economically inactive, 1 million have left work involuntarily.
Losing a job after the age of 50 is more likely to lead to long-term unemployment or inactivity compared with job loss at younger ages. Currently, 38% of unemployed individuals in the UK aged 50 and over (116,000 people) have been unemployed for over 12 months, compared with 29% of 25-49 year olds and 19% of 18-24 year olds.
In 2016, the Centre for Ageing Better commissioned the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and the Learning and Work Institute to conduct qualitative research into the experience of people aged over 50 who are out of work or in insecure work across Greater Manchester. This project aimed to produce richer, deeper insights into the complexity of the issues that older jobseekers are facing and how they interact and impact individuals in their local context. It also aimed to identify potential solutions through a collaborative design process between residents and local stakeholders.