One in 10 older people now work, reports Saga

reposted from Guardian Society
Number of working pensioners rises by a third since 2010 to 1m with many postponing retirement to combat falling living standards
Saga reports nearly that more than 1m, or 10%, of people aged 65 or older now work.

The number of over-64s in work has risen by a third since 2010 to more than a million, with older staff saying they enjoy working. Most over-64s in work also benefit from social interaction with other age groups, said Saga.

Since May 2010, the number of workers aged 65 or more has risen from 800,000 to 1.068 million, an employment rate for the age group of 10%, the highest since comparable records began in 1992. The employment rate for 50- to 64-year-olds has topped 68%, also a record, official data have shown.

Tim Pethick of Saga, which offers services to the over-50s, said: “Employment is not a zero-sum game, and while the number of over-50s in work is rising faster than the other age groups, the over-50s have not been squeezing young people out of the job market.

“The number of employed over-50s remains far lower than the number of employed 16- to 49-year-olds, and for older people, once they become unemployed, they find it much harder than other age groups to get back into work.

“Our research has shown that while some people have had to continue working longer than they might otherwise have planned, 88% have done so because they enjoy working and feel they benefit from the social interaction with other age groups.”

Saga said the latest data showed 3.5% of all employed people in the UK were 65 or older, a 0.3% rise on a year ago.

Older people are more likely to get trapped in long-term unemploymentthan their younger colleagues if they lose their jobs, said the report.

Saga added that the number of workers over 50 has been steadily rising, from just over 8 million when the coalition government was formed in 2010, to almost 8.9 million by October 2013.

“The data suggests that businesses have turned to older workers, perhaps valuing their skills, experience and conscientious attitudes,” said Saga.

But the report noted that many older people were postponing retirement because they needed to earn money, amid falling living standards.

The total number of people in work has topped 30 million for the first time on record.

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