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“Middle-aged” Britons bypassed by jobs recovery

Two-thirds of the 350,000 additional jobs created in the UK in 2010 have gone to young people aged below 35, with the remainder filled by people aged over 50.

People in the 35-49 year age bracket (easily the largest single age demographic in the workforce, comprising almost 11 million workers) have therefore missed out and continue to register a rise in unemployment. The number of “middle aged” Britons in work is now 320,000 (2.9 per cent) lower than at the start of the recession in spring 2008.

This is the key finding from the latest Work Audit of official labour market statistics – “The 2010 Jobs Recovery” - published today by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Dr John Philpott, author of the report and the CIPD’s chief economic advisor, said, “It is not clear why 35-49 year olds have so far been bypassed by the jobs recovery. One possibility is that this group has received less help and support from policy makers than either younger or older people

“Another possibility is that because middle-aged workers are at, or approaching, their peak career earnings they may be less attractive to some employers than younger or older workers who can be employed at less cost.”

Employees account for just under two-thirds (63 per cent) of the 350,000 jobs added to the economy between the first and third quarters of 2010. The remainder is mostly self employed people (30 per cent), a small group of unpaid family workers (six per cent) and also people on government jobs schemes (one per cent).

A whopping 95 per cent of the additional employees in employment are working part-time, while one in three of the additional employees are working in temporary jobs. There has been no recovery in full-time permanent jobs for employees.

Dispelling the notion that women have done better during the recession because of a perceived willingness to take on part-time work, men actually accounted for 83 per cent, or 289,000, of the jobs added to the economy in 2010.

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