Monday, 31 August 2009

Bank holiday - good news day!

Hardly! After the revelations about aspirins and red wine we now get the latest data from the Office for National Statistics which show that if you analyse the data correctly then younger people are not doing as badly in terms of job prospects as was first thought and the over 50's are doing decidedly worse. Prime have produced a paper on this topic.

Though both groups have a hard time in a recession, the over 50's who drop off the employment ladder are having a harder time even than the youngsters taking their first steps onto it. It is this story - about the difficulty that older people have finding work, that is rarely told.

Too many commentators appear to have rushed in and grabbed the first figure they could find, so anxious were they to “expose” a huge rise in youth unemployment. They all made the elementary error of assuming that those who were economically inactive were all unemployed and completely forgot that nearly one million people aged 18 - 24 are in full-time education.

When the data is adjusted for full-time education amongst the 16/17 year olds and the 18 - 24 year olds, it is quite apparent that these cohorts are faring betting than others. That is not to say that everything is rosy - one person in ten aged 18 - 24 economically inactive is not good news. But compare it with worklessness in the 50 to State Pension Age cohort. One in four is economically inactive in this age group according to these data.

PRIME are calling for programmes for the 50+ workless and especially for more help for 50+ self-employment and enterprise?

Some voices are now calling for such action. The TUC has just warned that long-term unemployed people aged over 50 are at risk of never working again - unless they get proper tailored support to get back into the job market.

The TUC quotes research that shows that people aged over 50 who are unemployed are 10 times more likely to still be out of work after two years than they are to have found a new job.

Maybe some more red wine is called for!

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