Number of Unemployed People in UK Over 50 Rises by Third?
November 25, 2020
0

There are now 91,000 more unemployed older people than there were 12 months ago.

The number of unemployed people aged over 50 in the UK has increased by a third in the past year, according to analysis of official figures.

There are 91,000 more unemployed older people than there were 12 months ago, the biggest percentage increase of all age groups and significantly more than the national average increase of 24%.

While the unemployment rateis significantly higher for those aged under 24, analysis shows that it is among older workers that there has been the greatest percentage increase.

Lawrence Wragg, 54, from Sutton Coldfield, was made redundant from his role as a project manager in March this year. Since then, he has applied for dozens of jobs but has only had a handful of interviews.

“My salary and age have definitely been a barrier to me finding a new job during the pandemic,” he said. “I find Zoom interviews challenging because I find it hard to convey a sense of personality.”

The data from the Office for National Statistics, analysed by the over-50s job site Rest Less, shows that unemployment levels for people aged 18-24 increased by 104,000 in the past year – or 25%. For those aged 25-34, the increase was 74,000, or 28%, and for those aged 35-49 years old, the increase was 51,000, or 19%.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said that while the unemployment rate was significantly higher for those aged under 24, the youth unemployment rate was high a year ago before the pandemic arrived.

“There is no doubt that we are facing a youth employment crisis right now but less well documented is the fact that we are also facing a long-term unemployment disaster amongolder workers,” he said.

“Not only have we seen a rapid rise in unemployment in the over-50s since this time last year but our previous research has shown that once unemployed, this group is significantly more likely to remain in long-term unemployment than their younger counterparts,” he added.

Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, urged the government to increase back-to-work support for older workers. “It’s of great concern that many older workers appear to have been losing their jobs at such a difficult time, especially as they may face additional barriers returning to work compared to younger workers,” she said.

Earlier research by the Centre for Ageing Better and the Learning and Work Institute found that about 377,000 extra older workers – one in 10 male, and eight in 10 female workers in their 50s and 60s – face a significant risk of losing their jobs when the government’s furlough scheme is wound down next year.

Additional analysis of Department for Work and Pensions data by the Centre for Ageing Better found that over-50s were less likely to bounce back from unemployment than any other age group: just 35% who lose their job return to work “quickly”, with 29% remaining unemployed for more than 12 months.

​Dr John Philpott, a labour market economist, social commentator and former director of the Employment Policy Institute, an independent public policy thinktank, said: “The popular view that the Covid-19 pandemic has … hurt the young far harder when it comes to jobs [but that] does not tell the entire story.

“With the level of job vacancies far below the pre-pandemic high, jobseekers of every age are struggling to find work and endemic age discrimination is making it doubly difficult for unemployed people aged over 50 whose number is climbing fast,” he added.

Concerning Disability Unemployment Rate Needs Urgent Government Action
October 27, 2020
0

ViewPoint: By Emma Greedy, HR magazine

Thousands of disabled employees have lost their jobs in the past year due to coronavirus, leading to calls for immediate government intervention. 

According to the Office of National Statistics, since March 2020 670,000 people have lost their jobs and the number of welfare claimants has increased by 120%.

Disability charity Scope has warned that disability employment faces a ‘cliff edge’ due to the pandemic. 

Its latest research found 48% of unemployed disabled people are concerned about their employment prospects for the rest of 2020 and 36% are concerned about being made redundant.

The charity has seen referrals for its employment support programme Support to Work increase by 65% year-on-year in June. 

That figure then surged to 230% in September 2020.

As the national furlough scheme transitions to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) at the start of November, Scope has urged government not to forget disabled people.

James Taylor, executive director of strategy, impact and social change at Scope, also advised HR leaders to make sure their processes are accessible.

He told HR magazine: “We’d recommend measuring the number of disabled people employed and asking disabled employees’ opinion on how well the company is creating an inclusive workplace. And back that up with training for line managers to become confident about how to support disabled people.

“Most companies review what they do all the time. It’s about using some of these strategies and tactics to assess how they support disabled people, and then based on what they learn, create an action plan to become even better employers.”

Virgin Media has partnered with Scope to help more disabled people into work. Its chief operating officer Jeff Dodds said that the employer had taken a number of steps to transform the experience for disabled employees and customers, including having board-level accountability and updating HR policies.

Speaking to HR magazine, he added: “I have seen first-hand the benefits of employing disabled people, who bring diversity of thought, determination, and creativity to the workplace.

“I’d urge businesses to do all they can to support disabled people – particularly during this very challenging time. This includes joining our free #WorkWithMe programme which helps businesses become more inclusive employers of disabled people with information and practical advice on how to improve their workplace policies, practices and culture for disabled people.”

Scope’s research on disability unemployment was conducted through an online poll on YouGov with a total sample size 4,013 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8 to 10 July 2020.

Furlough Scheme Masks True Scale of UK Unemployment Rate
August 18, 2020
0

The number of employees on UK payrolls in July 2020 was down an estimated 730,000 compared to March, according to the ONS labour market overview for August 2020.

Though the figures indicate employment is weakening due to the ongoing pandemic, the unemployment rate has remained largely unchanged due to an increase in economic inactivity, in which people are out of work but not looking for new jobs.

Joanne Frew, national head of employment at legal business DWF, said that this could be partly due to the number of people who have struggled with childcare throughout the pandemic and could therefore change as schools begin to reopen.

“The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will also inevitably be masking the true scale of unemployment,” she said.

“Figures are expected to surge in October when the scheme closes. Although the government has launched the Job Retention Bonus to help incentivise employers to bring employees back from furlough, longer-term strategies will need to be implemented to help tackle unemployment.”

Both the UK’s youngest workers and older generation pre-retirement age were found to be the most likely to be temporarily away from paid work during the pandemic.

This has created cause for concern due to the hiring challenges presented to each age group, particularly in a highly competitive job market.

“The sharp fall in employment highlights a dramatic deterioration for the employment prospects of young people, part-time workers and older workers in particular,” said Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser at the CIPD.

“A real concern is that this is just the first wave of bad news for the jobs market. The fact that reduced hiring rather than increased firing of permanent staff is the main cause of the jobs slowdown to-date bodes ill for the coming months if more employers turn to redundancies as a last resort.”

To support those disproportionately affected by the post-pandemic job market, City & Guilds Group has advised government to redirect its existing funding for further education.

City & Guilds Group CEO Kirstie Donnelly said that the funds should be allocated to develop skills that match jobs which are currently available and in demand.

“As the labour market shrinks, it’s crucial that we take immediate action to ensure that people, especially those most in need, have the opportunity to get the training, skills and experience they need to access employment, and that young people leaving education understand what is a viable route into a job,” she said.

The report also found that pay decreased in the three months to June 2020 to rates below price inflation, although in sectors like hospitality and construction where workers are returning from furlough, pay growth improved slightly for June 2020.

The claimant count increased by 116.8% from March to July, reaching 2.7 million people.

Smaller businesses drove vacancies in this same period up to 370,000 – a 10% increase on April to June.

With mass redundancies, job insecurity, and a recession ahead, the CIPD has called on government to undertake further intervention.

“The combination of large-scale job losses, job insecurity and falling real incomes means that the UK economy needs all the help it can get,” added Davies.

“The government might therefore wish to consider keeping an open mind to protecting some industries through a revised Job Retention Scheme beyond the end of October and through the winter.”

Employment Rate is at a Record High of 76.5%
February 20, 2020
0

By the Department for Work and Pensions.

The UK jobs market continues to boom, as the first set of employment figures since leaving the EU show the number in work has reached a new record high.

Employment rate statistic

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics saw the unemployment rate remain at its lowest since 1974, while the number of UK nationals in employment grew by over 2.3 million since 2010 to reach just over 29 million. The total number in work climbed to just below 33 million.

And there was more good news, with overall wage growth continuing to outpace inflation for a 23rd month, giving British workers a well-earned pay rise.

The number of ethnic minority workers reached a record high, while there are a further 1.4 million more disabled people in work than in 2013, with more than 16,000 employers signed up to the Disability Confident Scheme.

Employment has risen in every region and nation of the UK since 2010, and in the wake of the government’s newly-announced transport funding, jobseekers and commuters will be better connected to places of opportunity.

Minister for Employment, Mims Davies MP said:

As we embark on a new chapter as an independent nation outside the EU, we do so with a record-breaking jobs market and business confidence on the rise.

With wages still outpacing inflation, UK workers can expect their money to go further as we look ahead to a decade of renewal. The upcoming Budget will steer us on that course, further driving our levelling up agenda – so we can all share in the country’s prosperity.

Unemployment Rate Falls to 4%, With Record Low Youth Unemployment
August 15, 2018
0

As young people in England and Wales await their A-level results on Thursday 16 August, the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full-time education is at a record low of 4.7%.

Meanwhile, there are also a record number of older people in work – over 10.2 million.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Esther McVey said:

With the unemployment rate falling further to just 4%, and youth unemployment down over 45% since 2010, school leavers this week can look forward to a growing jobs market, improving the prospects for their future careers.

In fact, the UK’s vibrant jobs market is benefiting people across the board. Record rates of ethnic minority people in work also show that more families across our society are benefiting from the security of a job, with wages also on the increase.

We have some of the most creative, innovative and hard-working young people in the world and this summer I’ve been urging them to take on a summer job, gaining ‘soft skills’ – or as I call them, essential skills – for their future careers.

Read more