Well not exactly… but a recent story in the press pointed out an interesting new trend. In 2010, over a third of newly created jobs were being taken by those over 65 and out of work.
These people might be taking up a job at 65+ to cover what their pension won’t stretch to, and to make up for savings which no longer pay decent interest. Or, given the role of grandparents these days, even to pay their grandchildren’s university fees!
The news often focuses on youth unemployment and worries about what young people – the lost generation – are going to do. Society is right to be concerned. However, unemployment doesn’t just affect the young. When it comes to standing in line at the Jobcentre Plus, it seems that we – whatever age we are – are really in it together.
Recent Home Office statistics show that unemployment among older people (50+) is increasing more quickly than any other age group, and the older you are when you’re made unemployed, the longer you take to bounce back. The over 50s are also more likely to still be out of work two years after losing their jobs than any other age group. At the same time, research shows that mainstream employment support does not meet the needs of older people.
For now let’s focus on the good news – in London the workforce is getting older. So, it’s important to remember that older Londoners are not just going to be queuing to use their libraries, museums, roads and health services; they’ll also be paying for them from their taxes. Maybe, then, these services will stay open for longer and get better and better.
Are we comparing like for like? Or, do you think older people are taking the jobs that younger people don’t want, such as part-time and low-paid ‘McJobs’? Do tell me your thoughts and experiences relating to this.
Source: ONS statistics on work for over 65s: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=2648