Workforce aged 65 on the rise but more than 50,000 women aged 50-64 who want to work aren't able to as they focus on caring commitments

Published  07 September 2023
   3 min read

Consumer finance specialist Sarah Pennells comments on the latest Government statistics on the ‘Economic labour market status of individuals aged 50 and over’ released today:

"The data released today shows the continued rise in those working up until State Pension age with 42% of those aged 65 in employment in 2023. This was markedly higher than the 29% of workers aged 65 still working in 2018 - which was itself less than two percentage points higher than the 2013 data from 10 years ago. This reveals that although the trend is upward, the increase has been much more rapid in the last five years.

"Although there are many more people aged 65 still working, the increase is mainly from the number of people taking part-time employment between the ages of 50 and 64. Within this group, women are considerably more likely than men to be working part-time, with around three in ten women aged 50 to 64 years in part time employment in 2023 compared to around one in ten men of the same age.

"However, the data reveals some concerning trends for women. The employment rate among women aged 50 to 64 years with no qualifications is 20.5 percentage points lower than that of men of the same age with no qualifications, whereas there is only a 2.5 percentage point difference in the employment rate of men and women for those with degree level education. There is also a stark difference in the number of women aged 50-65 who cite looking after home or family as their reason for not working in comparison to men. More than a fifth (20.9%) of women said that home making and caring commitments were stopping them from looking for work compared to fewer than six per cent of men (5.8%).

"Although there’s been a significant increase in the number of women in work over the last 70 years, the age at which women are stopping working has not changed. In 1950, the average age at which women stopped working was 63.9 years old, compared to 64 years today. However, the age at which women become eligible to receive their State Pension has increased from 60 to 66, which presents a challenge to ensure they have sufficient savings to fund their retirement.

"State Pension research carried out by Royal London shows that while one in five people who are old enough to receive the State Pension rely on it as their only source of income in retirement, almost three in ten women do.

"Women who want to retire earlier than 66 need to have a plan in place so they can do so. However, almost three quarters of women have never worked out how much they’ll need in retirement."

For further information please contact:

Nicki Parry, PR Manager

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