The number of retirement-age Britons in work expanded by 26,000 in the most recent quarter, the Office for National Statistics reported yesterday.
That compares with a decline of 295,000 in employment across the rest of the population in the three months ended May.
The rate of attrition is particularly painful among young people, with the unemployment rate among those aged 16-24 at its highest since the early 1990s. This is fuelling fears of a 'lost generation' unable to enter the workforce during a devastating recession.
The resilience at the older end of the jobs market is partly fuelled by firms such as B&Q, which has long targeted over-50s because they are often dab hands at DIY and tend to be particularly conscientious.