Middle aged hit by unemployment


The number of unemployed middle aged workers has increased, according to a new study

The number of unemployed middle aged workers has increased as most new jobs go to younger people or over 50-year-olds, according to a new study.

Two-thirds of the 350,000 additional jobs created this year have mainly gone to people under the age of 35, with the remainder filled by people in their 50s or 60s, said the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Workers in the 35-49 year age bracket, the largest single age demographic in the workforce comprising almost 11 million, have missed out, said the report.

The number of middle aged Britons in work is now 320,000 lower than at the start of the recession in Spring 2008, the research found.

Dr John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economic adviser said: “It is not clear why 35 to 49-year-olds have so far been bypassed by the jobs recovery. One possibility is that this group has received less help and support from policy makers than either younger or older people.

“Despite losing out in the recovery, middle aged workers still have relatively high employment rates and relatively low unemployment rates so don’t figure on the radar of social concern. Another possibility is that because middle aged workers are at, or approaching, their peak career earnings they may be less attractive to some employers than younger or older workers who can be employed at less cost.”

Dr Philpott said the fact that such a large and core part of the workforce had been slow to benefit from the jobs recovery made it easy to understand why so many people remained unconvinced that the economy was really on the up.

He added: “With slower growth likely in 2011, middle aged Britons may continue to feel bypassed in the labour market for a little while longer yet.”

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