Age Target 2022: 1 million more older workers – February 2019 Update

Executive Summary / Introduction

The UK population is ageing. By 2020 1 in 3 workers will be over 50 and by 2030 half of all adults in the UK will be over 50. It is vital that people are helped to work for longer. To encourage businesses to get involved and seek to retain more older workers in their workforces, Andy Briggs, Chair of the Business in the Community Age Leadership Team and Government Business Champion for Older Workers, set an ambitious target in February 2017 of an increase of 1 million workers age 50 to 69 by 2022. On the second anniversary of the target, we report on progress that has been achieved so far.
  • Record numbers of older workers are now in employment. It is good news that the last 2 years have seen 0.4 million extra older workers and so, on the second anniversary of setting our target, we are on track towards 1 million more older workers by 2022.
  • There are 9.6 million people aged 50 to 69 in employment according to the Annual Population Survey, our base data series.
  • It is interesting to see that growth in older workers has included increases in both men and women and is reflected in both full time and part time work.
  • Good progress has also been made on employment rates, both for older workers and closing the gap between older & peak employment from age 45 to 49. These improvements have been driven by factors such as demographics, reductions in unemployment and policy changes.
Much progress has been made. However, there is clearly still further to go, and changes in employment rates are not quite on track to hit our aspirations. Employers need to do more to support and retain their older workers and gain the benefits of productive multi-generational workforces.

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