Increase in over 65s still in work, despite the recession – ONS

An increasing number of people aged 65 and over have remained in work over the last decade, despite the recession, figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown.

In 2001, around 412,000 people aged 65 and over were in work, rising to 870,000 in the last quarter of 2010.

This increase is seen in both full-time and part-time employment and in October to December 2010, 2.7 per cent of people, 270,000, worked full-time, up from 1.2 per cent, or 106,000, in January to March 2001. And 600,000 worked part-time, up from 306,000 in January to March 2001.

Since the onset of the recent recession, full-time employment rates have fallen for those aged 16 to 64, but for those aged 65 and over, where it rose by 0.5 percentage points between January to March 2008, the final quarter before the downturn, and October to December 2010.

ONS statistician Jamie Jenkins says: “Over the last decade these older workers are making up an increasing percentage of the total workforce in the UK, doubling from 1.5 per cent in 2001, to 3.0 per cent in 2010.

“The analysis also looks at how long these individuals have been in continuous employment, and it shows that around two-thirds of those in work after reaching the age of 65 have been with their current employer for over 10 years.”