Over-50s on 'unemployment scrapheap'
Published on 16 February 2012 10:30 AM
The over-50s are struggling to find work after being made redundant, with almost half being out of work for a year or more.
Official labour market statistics reveal that of the 426,000 unemployed older workers, 189,000 have been without jobs for a year or more, and 111,000 for at least two years.
This is amid a drop in the total number of people of all age groups in long-term unemployment.
Experts fear this is a sign older jobseekers are being consigned to the unemployment scrapheap.
Michelle Mitchell of Age UK said: 'This disturbing jump in the number of long-term unemployed older workers is a clear signal that the Government needs to take more action to help this age group, particularly at a time when it has raised the state pension age.'
She warned that by neglecting to hire people aged 50 and over, employers are missing out on a huge range of skills and experience that could help them grow.
The labour statistics, published on Wednesday, revealed women and young people have taken the hardest hit in terms of jobs cuts over the past year.
A record number - 1.35m - are having to work part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs. This number jumped by 83,000 between October and December, and is now the highest since records began in 1992.
Copyright Press Association 2012