The number of unemployed over 50s in the UK has increased by 33% over the past year, according to new analysis of data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Analysis from Rest Less, the job site for over 50s, who found unemployment for over 50s had seen the biggest percentage increase of all age groups and significantly more than the national average increase of 24%.
While the unemployment rate is significantly higher for those aged under 24, the youth unemployment rate was still high a year ago before Covid-19.
Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: “There is no doubt that we are facing a youth employment crisis right now, but less well documented is the fact that we are also facing a long-term unemployment disaster amongst older workers.
“Not only have we seen a rapid rise in unemployment in the over 50s since this time last year, but our previous research has shown that once unemployed, they are significantly more likely to remain in long-term unemployment than their younger counterparts.”
He added: “In the year that the state pension age moves to 66 and Universal Credit Claims amongst the over 50s have surged to more than 600,000 – more needs to be done to tackle systemic ageism in the workplace to help these talented, life-rich workers find meaningful employment.
“The over 50s are a group of highly work and life experienced people who offer huge value to employers: not only do they have decades of work experience under their belts but they also bring an important set of life skills to the table as well as attributes such as loyalty, resilience, empathy and an ability to think laterally.”