Business

Older workers 'more likely to be long-term unemployed' says report

One in five unemployed people are over the age of 50, a new report says

ONE in five unemployed people are over the age of 50, underlying the need for support for older job-seekers, according to a new report.

An analysis of official figures by Rest Less, which offers job advice to the over-50s, indicated that 50 to 64-year-olds are more likely than any other age group to be out of work for at least two years.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: "There are nearly 60,000 50- to 64-year-olds who have been out of work for more than two years but this doesn't take into account the many more who simply stop looking when they can't find work and therefore drop out of the unemployment numbers.

"Unless more support is provided, we risk the creation of a 'forgotten generation' who can't find work and simply stop looking, withdrawing from the labour market and often suffering from loneliness and isolation as a result.

"Nearly nine years on from the Equality Act and we are still seeing overt age discrimination in the workplace with the over-50s more likely to be made redundant, to receive less workplace training and to remain in long-term unemployment than their younger counterparts.

"This is all against a backdrop of an ever increasing state pension age requiring many to keep working for longer than they planned."

Dr John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist consultancy, said: "These data offer a timely reminder that the welcome rise in employment rates for older workers in recent years masks the reality many still face in the jobs market.

"Unfair discrimination in hiring leaves older job-seekers frequently confronting a choice between long-term unemployment or joining the burgeoning ranks of self-employed odd-jobbers."

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