Friday, January 23, 2009

United Kingdom: Older Workers Facing Higher Layoffs in Recession

According to Age Concern, older workers are experiencing job loss at rates more than twice that of any other group. Citing government statistics that, from September to November‚ unemployment of up to 6 months increased by 29.8% for those aged 50 plus‚ 4.8% for those 25-49‚ 12.2% for 18-24 year-olds‚ and -0.9% for 16-17 year-olds, Age Concern warned that "that older workers are facing a dual blow of rising unemployment and forced retirement‚ which could make them amongst the biggest 'job-cut casualties' of the forthcoming recession."

Older workers were disproportionately affected by job cuts in the last two recessions. In addition, Age Concern research shows this is a huge concern with half of workers aged 55 and over being worried they are more at risk of losing their job because of their age and almost nine out of 10 people thinking it is harder for older jobseekers to get a job. To avoid mistakes made in previous recessions, Gordon Lishman‚ Director General of Age Concern, called on the government to help older people as a group particularly, repeating calls to scrap the default retirement age and seeking more tailored and immediate support‚ training and advice for older workers.

Source: Age Concern News Release (January 21, 2009)

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