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Number of workers aged over 65 has more than tripled since 2000, new research finds

  • New research shows 1.43m over 65s are currently in work
  • This figure has risen from 457,000 in 2000
  • The majority of this age group are self-employed
  • Over 65s are the second largest age group on zero-hours contracts

Time 3:14 pm, October 30, 2023

New research shows the number of 65-year-olds still in work has increased drastically since 2000 with more than one in nine now working beyond this point in the UK.

This is up from one in 20 in the year 2000, when 457,000 people worked beyond their 65th birthday compared to 1.43m employed in this age group today.

Those working in this age group are predominantly self-employed, according to the research released today by the Centre for Ageing Better based on ONS Labour Market statistics.

It also showed that workers 65 and over are the largest age group on zero-hours contracts after 16 to 24-year-olds.

Dr Karen Hancock, research and policy officer at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: ‘These figures show once again the ever-growing importance of older workers to the economy in filling labour and skills shortages.

‘Around half of the substantial growth in numbers of 65+ workers since 2000 is down to demographics and the growth in the older population.

‘The raising of the state pension age for men and women has also been a factor in increasing employment rates. Moving the goalposts on planned retirement dates may have compelled some to continue working into their late 60s to help their financial situation.

‘But the increase also includes a growth in older workers who feel well enough to continue working and who want to continue reaping the financial and wellbeing benefits of remaining in work.’

Luke Price, senior research and policy manager for work at the Centre for Ageing Better, said: ‘Working past state pension age is becoming increasingly common, but it should be a choice.

‘For those who want to do it and can find employment that suits them, it can have positive health, wellbeing and financial outcomes.

‘However, statistics alone do not tell us anything about the quality of the employment of this age group.’

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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