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People seated at tables at job centre.

Response to latest ONS Labour Market stats

Our lead on work, Patrick Thomson responds to the latest ONS figures on employment, unemployment and economic inactivity by age group.

The latest ONS Labour Market Statistics show a that the number of over-50s in work is growing. There are 10.3 million older workers, representing almost a third of the UK's workforce.

Patrick Thomson, Senior Programme Manager – Work, Centre for Ageing Better said:

“Today’s figures reinforce the need for employers to do much more to support older workers, with more than 10.3 million over 50s in work, and a record level of employment amongst over 65s.

“Despite growing overall employment, between 2018 and 2025, there will be 300,000 fewer workers under age-30. However, there will be a million more workers over age-50.

 “If employers don’t meet the needs and aspirations of older workers, they risk losing their most experienced people and seeing labour and skills shortages. We need employers to be more age-friendly, support training, development and progression for older workers, and remove age bias from recruitment.”

Becoming an age-friendly employer


Between 2018 and 2025, there are forecast to be 300,000 fewer workers under the age of 30 and 1 million more workers over 50 in the UK. Source: Mercer.