The level of unemployment amongst the over 50′s age group is at its highest level since 1995, official figures show. In an increasingly difficult jobs market where there is often dozens of people applying for each job, it seems the over’s 50′s are finding it hard to compete with the younger generation. Despite often being over qualified and having a greater level of experience, employers tend to prefer recruiting younger employees. Another problem for those in this age group is once they lose a job, it can be very difficult to find one again on a similar salary level, particularly if they have been made redundant from a senior or managerial position. People in this situation will find it difficult to pay for the living standards they have become accustomed to.
And whilst unemployment levels for the over 50′s are rising, they have been falling in other age groups, although the overall level of unemployment is still relatively high compared with recent history. Official figures show that there are currently 398,000 unemployed people aged 50 and above. That’s up 7,000 compared with the previous three months. Conversely however, unemployment fell by 67,000 for those aged 18 to 24, and by 16,000 for those aged 18 – 49. Often it is youth unemployment which steals the headlines, as this has longer term implications. However, SAGA Director General Ros Altmann told this weeks Daily Mail that over 50′s unemployment was a serious national issue arguing that…”‘…if you don’t get them back to work, their life is effectively over. Once you are out, you stay out. Employers do not want to look at them.”
Other research carried about by Key Retirement Solutions found that of those who had lost their jobs in the last three years, 46% had not found another job, while 77% had to take a cut in salary. 45% had taken a job in a different industry in order to find employment. The company also found younger and younger people were turning to Equity Release in order to supplement their income.