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Over-65s to account for half of employment growth in next decade

The number of employed over-65s has risen to 1.31 million

Workers aged 65 and over will account for more than half of all UK employment growth over the next 10 years and almost two-thirds of employment growth by 2060, figures show.

Analysis of the 2019 seasonally adjusted labour force survey by the Office for National Statistics suggests that by 2030 people aged 65 and over will account for 282,000 new UK employees out of a total 546,000.

By 2060, there will be around 746,000 new employees aged 65 and over out of a total employment growth of 1,193,000.

Stuart Lewis, the founder of Rest Less, a jobs, volunteering and advice site for the over-50s, told the Guardian that today’s over-65s are healthier and more active than previous generations and many who are fit and able to work have no intention of fully retiring any time soon.

“People’s reasons for continuing to work post state pension age vary wildly. From those who are choosing to top up their pension pots while they still can, to those who want to keep working for the love of the job or for the health and wellbeing benefits,” he added.

The number of over-65s who are employed has increased by 188% in the last 20 years from 455,000 to 1.31 million, while the proportion has grown from just over 5% to just under 11%.

In the past 10 years, the number has increased from 763,000 to 1.3 million – a 71% increase.

However, Lewis said that with around one in four people aged between 50 and the state pension age currently out of work, and older workers who fall out of work remaining out of work for longer than people of other ages, employers need to address their prejudices around older workers.

“Increasing numbers of over-65s in the workplace unlocks enormous potential for employers to embrace a talented, flexible and highly skilled workforce – but it also requires many employers to change their outdated stereotypes of age in the workplace and reconsider how they engage with and attract talented older employees,” he said.