- Transportation and storage businesses have the highest proportion of workers aged 50 or more – with 35.7% of workers in this age range.
- This was closely followed by manufacturing (35.4%) and professional, scientific and technical professions (35.3%).
- The percentage of older workers outstripped those in the 16–29-year age category in many groups. These include information and communication as well as wholesale and retail trade.
- It is positive that older workers continue to have opportunities to remain in the workforce. This can have benefits for people’s financial, physical and mental health. However, it is important older workers are not forced to remain in jobs they can no longer do.
- Younger workers also need opportunities to develop their careers.
Today the ONS published the latest business insights and impact on the UK economy data Business insights and impact on the UK economy – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:
“Older workers bring skill and experience to the workforce and it is great to see they continue to play an important role. The default retirement age was scrapped several years ago, and so workers can continue to work for as long as they want or need to so they can continue to build their retirement wealth. This brings significant benefits, not only to their financial health but also their physical and mental wellbeing.
However, while many people keep working because they want to there are many people who work because they have to. In some cases, it can be increasingly difficult to do the role they are currently employed to do. For instance, older workers make up large proportions of the manufacturing as well as transportation and storage workforce. One third of people working in construction are aged over 50 – some of these will be office-based but others will involve manual labour which can become more difficult as people age. Appropriate support is needed to help older workers find alternative roles if the demands of their job become too much for them.
Older workers play a significantly bigger role in many areas than their younger counterparts. Accommodation and food as well as arts and recreation have a lot of workers aged between 16-29 but in many other areas older workers dominate. This may be partially due to our ageing population, but the working lives of the younger age groups have also been significantly impacted by the pandemic and they are in dire need of opportunities to develop their careers too.”