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Jobs for the boys - and the over 65s

Stephanie Flanders | 12:42 UK time, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

There's always plenty that the headline labour market figures leave out. This month I'm tempted to say they miss the story entirely. When you look at the big picture - it looks like not very much is happening to jobs in the UK. The broader measure of unemployment is moderately higher than a year ago, but so is employment. And the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance has actually fallen by 8% in the past year. But there is plenty going on behind those headline totals, with stark consequences for different parts of our society.

To put it bluntly - it's a good time to be a man, working in the private sector, and/or over 50. If you're under 25, or a woman, or working in the public sector, the labour market is a bleak place these days, and there's little sign that it's about to get better.

I flagged up a few weeks ago the sharp rise in the number of over 65 year-olds in work. This part of the workforce has again grown sharply in the latest quarter, by 56,000. There are now a record 900,000 people in this age group still in employment. The number of working 50-64 year olds is also on the rise, though only by 1.3% - roughly the same as for the population as a whole. Starting from a much lower base, employment in the over 65 category is an astonishing 17% up on the year.

Here's the stark reality: employment in the UK has risen by 296,000 since the start of 2010, and 75% of those jobs - or 222,000 - have gone to people over 50. Just under 44% of the jobs have gone to the 3% of workers over 65. For comparison, the number of 16-17 year olds in work has fallen by nearly 8% over the same period, while the number of working 18-24 year olds has been more or less flat.

The gender divide is even more striking. The number of women in work has risen by only 19,000 in the past year - or barely 0.1%. Put it another way: men account for fully 94% of the rise in the number of people in work. You'll find some of the explanation for that in the difference between the public and private sector. The figures here are less timely, but the number of private sector jobs rose by 428,000 in the year to December. Over that time, the public sector shed 132,000 jobs.

Sorry for all the numbers, but there are times when the figures tell the story better than words.

Anyone who remembers the 1980s and early 1990s recessions can only be struck by the contrast with today. Back then, partly as a result of the way corporate pensions were taxed, companies laid off older workers first, in the hundreds of thousands. Many of those people never found work again. Now we've interviewed a 70 year old accountant for today's news bulletins who did stop working a few years back, but so missed being part of the workforce he fought his way back last year, after applying to 50 firms. He doesn't want to ever retire.

As I said in that earlier post a few weeks back, long term it's excellent news for our economy - and the Treasury - that older people are staying in work. But we cannot afford for that to come at the expense of those who are just starting out. It cannot be good news for the Britain's inner cities that the unemployment rate among 16-24 year olds is now more than 20%.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Does significant unemployment mean there are not enough jobs, or too many people?

  • Comment number 2.

    Two points: The over 50 percent of the population has grown so it would make sense that they are a larger part of the workforce. Also, after the banks stole their retirements working is not so much by choice as it is a necessity. Women have been in a lesser employment and advancement status for many years and prejudices continue...and in difficult times those prejudices become more apparent.

  • Comment number 3.

    UK Unemployment hits 17 year high
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12757675

    "Here's the stark reality: employment in the UK has risen by 296,000 since the start of 2010.."


    There are lies, damn lies and statistics

  • Comment number 4.

    Babyboomers having their cake and eating it again!

    Yet again they pull the ladder up behind them for the generations following; housing, pensions and now jobs. I wonder how many other jobs this accountant has been part of outsourcing to India and China already?

    Boomers you've had it too good for too long, stop stealing from your children and grandchildren

  • Comment number 5.

    Good time to be in the narcotics trade then.

  • Comment number 6.

    SF: It cannot be good news for the Britain's inner cities that more than 20% of 16-24 year olds are now unemployed.

    What about our villages and market towns? Think outside the metropolitan box.

  • Comment number 7.

    I see that average earnings are growing at 2.3% pa. With rising employment and wages, surely the Bank will be raising interest rates sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well as an employer of 50 plus people who has just come through having to put the house on the line to keep a business afloat the reasoning behind these numbers is quite simple. SME's have to get labour right otherwise it's six months wages down the toilet and we can't afford to make those sort of costly mistakes or nobody will have a job.

    Ergo - anybody under 24 probably has no experience or worst still needs educated so unless somebody is subsidising via an apprentice scheme then we're not prepared to take the risk.

    Ergo - anybody under 35 probably has children or may decide to have them at sometime in the future and expects me to pay for them and their colleagues to pull double shifts so as they can swan about for a year or so at somebody elses expense or time. So again we're not prepared to take the risk.

    Now if somebody is aged 45 plus all the way through to 70 then they're probably educated, probably have no interest in breeding, generally have decent work experience.

    Bit of a no brainer really - well when it's your house that is on the line it is. If you're a politician, public sector worker, trade unionist no doubt you'll disagree, which you're entitled to, but until such time as I see you guys with your homes on the line saving / creating jobs for other people then I'm never going to agree with you.

    Perhaps if this group actually spent more time educating the young and less time drafting lunatic equality, parental, anti business laws which think we live in some form of cashless / no responsibility utopia then this is always going to happen.

  • Comment number 9.

    As usual, the numbers and statistics are at variance with reality of the human experience and not least the current climate.
    Clearly there is an over supply of labour and for all the supposed available jobs - many of which are recycled as adverts for recruitment companies (the jobs don't exist) there is a plethora of candidates.
    The bottom line is, if you out of work and don't want to be - it's a very tough time. Employers are over picky, they want the perfect candidate (doesn't exist), will only recruit from the same sector and won't enable down-sizing for experienced people who are prepared to shift down in order to work.
    The legion of unemployed not registered on Job Seekers, living off the remnants of their capital and savings remain unaccounted for. When they do sign on they will be governmentally and systematically driven into poverty. Realistic financial support is not there, along with that Big Society.
    The headline? Try: the unwilling unemployed continue to pay for the financial crisis or: those lucky to have jobs are working at the expense of the unemployed. What we have is an unsutainable economy - maybe that's just capitalism.



  • Comment number 10.

    This article is very depressing but of course spot on. Any person with any risk attached (young people - inexperienced, women - oh god they could fall pregnant) is simply not going to match up to the hoards of other less risky applicants for any single job.
    Long term thinking currently costs too much money.

  • Comment number 11.

    Unemployment in the UK presumably includes those registering as self employed. Apparently this is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in the UK. Hunderds of thousands of new businesses are created every yoear. I suspect the over 50s make up a good percentage of these businesses. Unable to secure jobs working for someone else, they become self employed. Some of these people would be people who are being forced off long term disability benefits, due to the current government's initiative to get the "too sick to work" back into work. Rather than work for someone else and end up on job seekers allowance, with all its attendant obligations, such as looking for work, going to back to work seminars and retraining, they become self employed.

    There is no need to actually make any money while self employed - indeed you can operate at a small loss. If your business remains marginal forever 9likely if you have insufficient capital to invest), so be it. The minimum income guarantee means you get to keep your housing benefit, council tax benefit, and just swap your disability and/or income support allowances for working tax credit. Probably forever. If you "work" it right, you can even get an extra £2,000 for the first year you go back to work, as a reward for getting out of the DWP's hair. And the HMRC certainly won't come knocking at your door, other than to audit your accounts once in a blue moon.

    And how much do you have to work your business in a week to continue to qualify for benefits? 16 hours a week, (that's between the two of you, but one has to work at least 16 hours a week, so presumably the other could remain the stay at home wife/husband they have been prior to becoming "self employed"), soon to go up to 24 hours a week.

    Let's see, that works out at a couple of evenings a week at the auction then a morning a week going to the market to sell it all off. A small Ebay business will also do the trick. Making a bit of jewellery, gardening, valeting, - all a couple of days a week, qualifies you as being employed and should ensure you earn little enough to keep those benefits (i.e. you real income) flowing in through the door. You work from home, so travelling to the various venues to buy stock counts as working time. Perhaps a trip to London, while you take in a show, have a nice meal and drop in on the rellies, remembering to spend a couple of hours buying some stock so that the cost of your trip is claimable for tax.....

  • Comment number 12.

    Re: Post 2

    It should be stressed that the banks did not steel our pensions, although one or two asset managers had their sticky mits in the pot.
    It was G Brown, the ignorant and incapable idiot who masqueraded as someone knowledgeable in finance, who actually misappropriated them, almost from the start of his destructive tenure.

  • Comment number 13.

    I can't help feeling that the blog is unclear or people fail to read it properly. Yes there 296,000 jobs have been created asince a year ago, but MORE THAN THAT HAVE BEEN LOST. There has been a net fall in employment.
    I'd be less worried about young people not being in jobs if I didn't feel that most of them are NEETs. What the Government should be providing isn't jobs - pushing other people out - but tough, effective, appropriate training programmes to give people the skills to compete for jobs. Frankly if I was an employer with the economy in its present parlous state, who would I rather take on - a 60 year old with years of experience, knowledge, skills & a good work ethic or a 20 year old with limited skills and "attitude"?
    Also the fact that "baby boomers" on average have done well, that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of people in their 60s whose savings have plummeted in value, whose changed company pension scheme pays them peanuts and who face poverty without a job.

  • Comment number 14.

    I am 63 and about to graduate again, I want to work not just because the bankers stole part of my pensions, and savings which they have, but because I want to work, because I will miss the social & intellectual stimulus, and because I want to contribute.......... yes I am a baby boomer ....... no I am not taking younger persons jobs. The younger ones with get up and go have got up and gone and they will have had preference over me due to age and so they should ... the best of luck to them. I suspect many young graduates are saddled with the New Labour useless degrees in media studies, origami, stone cutting and whatever which kept the unemployment figures down rather than getting people properly equipped with a realistic trade / profession so they can support themselves. I feel we are going into a period of readjustment, going are the public sector jobs and non-jobs where the attention to process and policy far outweighs any useful deliverable. I feel optimistic that this could change things in the longer term for the better, my only regret is the parasites that created this hiatus are unscathed and are still riding their gravy train.

  • Comment number 15.

    A massive young unemployed workforce willing to to whatever job for whatever money and turning on each other to get money.

    Middleaged men in Power with all the jobs and money.

    Surely this is not like the Tory Party is it?

  • Comment number 16.

    Law works!
    For years employers - and especially Ministers Hodge & Hewitt - claimed that 'men can't take it' being unemployed and aged over 50. Sop they substituted surveys for action rather than carry out the firm election promise to end Age Discrimination. Because they felt that older men were in the way of women getting jobs. Which is why John Major's Tories had opposed outlawing Age Discrimination. And many large employers and women workers cavilled at employing wrinklies.
    It took a real man to do it. Alan Johnson became Minister and immediately swept up the mess of surveys and put forward a Bill to outlaw Age Discrimination.
    It's working! People (mostly men) cast onto the scrap heap in their forties and fifties are able to get or hold onto a job and contribute extra tax and NIC revenues. As they always wanted to do.
    So at least that promise was kept. Even if many women were opposed to it.

  • Comment number 17.

    Employment related lunacy...

    If it costs X to live and commute to/from work but the wage available is Y where Y is much less than X.

    1. What is the point working?

    2. Why should the state (the rest of us) subsidise the employers to pay Y?

    Somehow this circle has to be squared! (Ask IDS!)

    We need to address this problem directly or the social security system will fail and so will small business.

    Logically the cost of living and commuting must be reduced to Y. Steps must be taken. Rent (and mortgage interest rent) is the only place are where the state can have much effect as fuel and food are internationally priced commodities. The only one under the state's control is property prices/rents. Clearly rent cannot be capped if this results in landlords not being able to finance buying and maintaining the property. So it has to be that the (calamitous|) property bubble has to be deflated ASAP.

    The rational conclusion is that the majority of this country's problems stem from allowing property to dramatically increase in price - yet this has been the active policy of the state! It shows just how stupid the politicians and civil servants have been over the last decades. Blame Thatcher (Right to Buy), Major, Blair, Brown and now Cameron along with successive Governors of the Bank of England and the Permanent Secretaries of the Treasury. The petard, on which we are now all hoist, is too low 'Interest Rates'!!!!

  • Comment number 18.

    This article goes in to detail in how it is actually less healthy for the older generation to retire & they will live longer if they stay in work:
    http://www.mindfulmoney.co.uk/wp/ken-eisold/why-work-really-is-good-for-us-2/

    “a major study that followed participants over eight decades: “an analysis of the activities and accomplishments of study participants . . . was dramatic. ‘[T]he continually productive men and women lived much longer than their more laid-back comrades. … It was not the happiest or the most relaxed older participants who lived the longest. It was those who were most engaged in pursuing their goals.’”

    Obviously, it is difficult due to the competitiveness in the work force, for the older generation to find more part time role more suited to their age – but those who do are taking the opportunity from their younger counterpart. Unfortunate for those trying to earn some money and get on the career ladder.

  • Comment number 19.

    Moljen (at 1.53pm) has just written a study text book for economists, politicians, civil servants and academics - all in about 300 words. If only the above would read, mark, learn and inwardly digest we might stand a chance of clawing our way out of this mess. I speak as a 67 year old, still at work 'cos his pensions and endowments were trashed by a Chancellor who 'abolished boom and bust' (well he got it half right).

  • Comment number 20.

    That is when you look back one year. If you check further back, it was male (and) in private sector losing the most during 2008-2009 when female public sector workers were enjoying pay rises borrowed by Mr Brown.
    If you only look back one day and analyse the data I am sure many interesting stuff will come up too, but even less meaningful.

  • Comment number 21.

    A quick look at Jamie's Dream School (Channel 4) may shine some light on why the 16-24 unemployment rate is so high; some of them are simply unemployable. Who wants to hire (and from a colleague's point of view, work with) somebody that has no attention span and causes general disruption? It may be spectacle put together for the TV audience but these are real people, and this country has a real problem. Discipline and respect to be taught in schools, please.

  • Comment number 22.

    Well I posted yestrday that I cannot stop thinking of the following reinforcing loop:

    real wages down -> quantity of goods (services) demanded down -> spare capacity up -> real wages down

    I'm guessing it must be wrong, otherwise the BoE/MPC would be more worried about general inflation and less worried about wage inflation. Please, please, please feel free to correct the above loop.

  • Comment number 23.

    All the talk of the need for people to work longer is nonsense. Productivity has increased more rapidly than longevity. So unless we are all going to consume more and more goods and services, which is impossible because of finite resources of some raw materials, on average we are only going to be able or need to work for a smaller proportion our life times.

    The pleasant and sensible way to achieve this is for everyone to have roughly equal extra periods of leisure. So early retirement, sabbaticals, paid leave for mothers - and fathers - etc, should be encouraged.

    But it is being left to the market and the statistics Stephanie quotes reflect the result. It means enforced unemployment for those that employers favour least, such as untrained young people, women and non-immigrants, while the more favoured employees work longer and harder than ever.

    An even nastier way in which surplus labour has traditionally been soaked up is by warfare and imperialism. The Vikings and the British in the 19th century are examples of this way of releaving pressure. Some people recommend reintroducing national service to get young men off the streets. This is the first step in this direction.

  • Comment number 24.

    Dont forget the nearly 9 million not working but of normal working age and the large majority of whom are able and willing to work. The unemployment trend is clearly rising and the impact of all the negative factors is yet to be felt fully. Employment is an underestimated key social factor in the well being of the population which extends well beyond the receipt of income to pay the bills (or to slow down the accumulation of debt).

  • Comment number 25.

    Number 14 Here we go again the typical ignorant tory onslaught against Media Studies, who do you think builds, manages produces the content for websites such as this and well most websites really, what degrees do you think my generation got in the 90's that have kept us in work and continue to keep us in work. I'll tell you now it was not classics, or english or history.

    Number 8 Totally agree and understand where you are coming from. However you have just about made the perfect case for employment laws and regulations, because if everyone was able to take that line society would collapse because those that need the most money (young and families) and will spend it would not have it. Of course its your house that is on the line (something IMHO which is fundamentally wrong in our economic system) but lets not pretend you are creating jobs out of the kindness of your heart, you are creating them to earn yourself the most amount of money possible and the very laws and regs you despise are there because of the way you discriminate. SME's might get away with it, but corporates can't.

  • Comment number 26.

    And the statisticians are trying to tell us that the fact that "older" workers hanging onto jobs is not adversely affecting the chances of "younger" people getting into work - Rubbish!

  • Comment number 27.

    #15. ToriesBrokeBritain wrote:
    A massive young unemployed workforce willing to to whatever job for whatever money and turning on each other to get money. Middleaged men in Power with all the jobs and money. Surely this is not like the Tory Party is it?


    Wow, where have you been for the last 14 years? Didn't you notice another party in charge in between the last 2 Tory governments?

    If anyone is wondering about youth unemployment, just read the damming report by Prof. Wolf, see:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12622061

    Hundreds of thousands doing courses that lead no-where... neither to jobs or further education.

    Only 49% of 18 year olds have both Maths and English GCSE (C grade or above). At 16 it is less than 45%.

    So, Mr Tory hater... how come my taxes were raised so much to spend on "Education, Education, Education" by your beloved party, and yet they have produced a whole generation that have so many unemployable?

  • Comment number 28.

    I see that Kelvin Hopkins MP mentioned Krugman's criticism of the current Coalition policy at PMQs today, and Cameron said that the IMF, OECD, CBI, FSB, and the Bank of England all supported his economic logic. It looks to me to be a straight contest of the models. Of course Coalition failure will mean many disrupted lives.

    Here is Krugman 16 March 2011:

    "Some comments on various blog posts ask what evidence we have that liquidity trap economics is any different from normal economics. Um, the answer is staring us in the face: the failure of interest rates to rise despite very large budget deficits.

    If you had told most people, back in 2007, that the federal government would soon be running budget deficits in the vicinity of 10 percent of GDP, most of them would have predicted soaring interest rates. In fact, quite a few people did predict just that — and in some cases lost a lot of money for their investors.
    But it hasn’t happened. Short rates have stayed near zero; long rates have fluctuated with changing views about the prospects for recovery, but stayed consistently below historical norms. That’s exactly what those of us who understood liquidity-trap economics predicted, right from the beginning.
    I don’t know what more evidence you could ask for. After all, interest rates are what the liquidity trap is all about."

  • Comment number 29.

    #19 Oldman44

    Thank you for your kind words. Was only a minor rant, I've got a whole list of reasons why I only employ 52 people rather than the 60 or 70 I would if there wasn't so much red tape and crass stupidity about which makes it nigh on impossible for it to be economically viable.

    To all the "left" leaning bemoaning travel / house costs - it's quite simple more people, more demand for raw materials etc, result prices increases. As the guy on daytime TV says "put something on the end of it" if you can't afford to take responsibility for your offspring.
    I don't expect the NHS to fix me, I have private medical insurance. I don't expect the state to pay for my children, I pay for private schools, I don't expect the state to pay for my street lights, I live on a private road. And guess what we waited until we in our mid 30's before having children because we couldn't afford it previously and don't expect teh state to bail us out as being a god foresaken right. Perhaps if we all did this the country wouldn't now be skint.

  • Comment number 30.

    8. At 1:53pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    Perhaps if this group actually spent more time educating the young and less time drafting lunatic equality, parental, anti business laws which think we live in some form of cashless / no responsibility utopia then this is always going to happen.
    =========================================

    Well that's the big elephant in the room, isn't it, educating the young.

    Why has there been this infamous plethora of so-called micky-mouse degrees and increase in student numbers towards 50%? Also, for those not able or willing to get into the new universities there is a vast number of 1 or 2 year HND / BTEC vocational degrees in hairdressing, plumbing, car mechanics. I don't remember these 30 years ago to nearly the same extent.

    When many of us were younger there was a large degree of on-the-job training and apprenticeships for the under 24 year olds. Moljen above stated succintly why that is no longer viable for his business and others like it.

    Thirty years ago or so, it seems that decision was taken that businesses would no longer shoulder the costs of training and that the state would take this on.

    Recently it has become apparent that the cost of education and training is now a cost too high for the state, and ergo, the trainee should bear the cost.

    Societal suicide in my book.

  • Comment number 31.

    #28 Baz

    You're half right - my employee turnover is les than 3% and over 75% of my workforce has 10 years plus service. I'm not the highest paid employee by a long stretch, my reward is by dividend when funds / cash are available. Each year we roughly split profits 3 ways - 1/3 taxman, 1/3 employees & business investment, and 1/3rd dividends.

    Where you are wrong is suggesting we discriminate - we don't we take a statistical judgement on who will still be an employee long term and I ahve no care whether they are male, female, alien, east european, young, old etc. Statistically anything over 35 tends to win.

  • Comment number 32.

    My office is full of employed under 25's - unfortunately they are all contractors from India!

  • Comment number 33.

    I hope the BBC publishes figures to show the number of available UK jobs and the no of immigrants in the UK as currently competing for those jobs against British people ... and how their foreign skills and qualifications, if they have any, are recognised in Britain when British skills and qualifications can be rejected overseas by protectionist 'red tape'.

    We only have part of the story here BBC (I wonder why?)

  • Comment number 34.

    Employment 16-64 according to the ONS stands at 70.5%, suggesting very strongly the unemployment rate is really somewhat higher than the headline number (which we know is massaged in various ways).
    That aside, I guess the rise in employment of men in their comparatively later years is to do with the apparent surge in manufacturing. As no one (male or female) under the age of 45 has any real experience of making something with machines and raw material I guess the older male is the only place to find relevant experience.
    The carping about womens problems in 'employment' is so standard a part of commentary I doubt it will have much effect, but yes the statistics do suggest less women are employed. But then that is historically so as many women stay at home to look after the children - not exactly a bad thing to do.
    Of course the UK government could help...

    After all at the moment it is funding....

    a) Several hundred jobs in Eygpt chopping up Ark Royal and several other warships
    b) Several thousand jobs at Mercedes Benz in Germany building vans for various councils
    c) A few more thousand jobs at BMW building cars for the cabinet and police
    d) Several hundred jobs in France building lorries for the army
    e) A few hundred jobs in the USA sorting out the current census
    f) Several hundred jobs in India writing software for the NHS (unless they've finished... in which case there are plenty of other council software contracts going abroad)
    g) Several hundred jobs in USA writing software for the tax man to steal what isn't due to him (oooh, sorry, to take the just rewards of your work).
    h) Several thousand jobs in China stitching together uniforms for the British army (yes, the same China that is apparently not letting us help the Libyans while beating up BBC journalists).

    The list goes on and on and amounts to several hundred thousand jobs that WE the BRITISH tax payer support abroad - where they bring NO income to the UK treasury at all.

    We could also look at the millions we (the government and tax payer) have allowed to be taken in huge bonuses by people 'working' for the banks we own - the banks that apparently don't have money to lend small business (or at least won't lend it at a reasonable APR), these millions could sustain several hundred jobs.


  • Comment number 35.

    28. At 3:31pm on 16 Mar 2011, ntp3 wrote:
    I see that Kelvin Hopkins MP mentioned Krugman's criticism of the current Coalition policy at PMQs today, and Cameron said that the IMF, OECD, CBI, FSB, and the Bank of England all supported his economic logic. It looks to me to be a straight contest of the models. Of course Coalition failure will mean many disrupted lives.
    =======================================

    If you make the assumption that every economic decision this government (and the previous) makes is to preserve the solvency of the financial system, and only this, then the method in their madness becomes clear.

  • Comment number 36.

    @17 The rational conclusion is that the majority of this country's problems stem from allowing property to dramatically increase in price - yet this has been the active policy of the state! It shows just how stupid the politicians and civil servants have been over the last decades. Blame Thatcher (Right to Buy), Major, Blair, Brown and now Cameron along with successive Governors of the Bank of England and the Permanent Secretaries of the Treasury. The petard, on which we are now all hoist, is too low 'Interest Rates'!!!!


    It is not low interest rates that have caused the problem. We need to look at supply and demand. We have for many years failed to build houses to cope with the huge influx of new people. So supply has failed to keep up with demand. Hence prices have risen - and steeply.

    The demand is stoked by those we have allowed to walk away with millions in 'bonuses' and over inflated salaries - the 'top' of many businesses and now the public sector (including the three public sector banks) have been allowed to walk away with annual rewards of 300-400 times the national average wage. This is clearly lunacy (there are plenty of capable people much cheaper). These people buy houses to rent because theres little else to do with that much money.

  • Comment number 37.

    So over 65's are taking all the jobs as well. In todays other news 50-60 year olds have the highest unsecured debts and those aged 65 will have taken £220,000 more from public funds then they have ever put in.

    Youngsters apparently have no job prospects, will have to pay £70,000 more into public services than they will ever receive, can not afford to get on the housing market and have to pay ever higher fees for university.

    When you look at it like that it's not surprising that a large majority of my friends (all high achievers aged 25-30) are looking at moving abroad. Who's going to pay then!?

  • Comment number 38.

    29. At 3:35pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    Perhaps if we all did this the country wouldn't now be skint.
    ==============================

    Nah mate, it would be worse off.

    Business has had an easy ride over the last 30 years or so and hasn't paid its fair share. It has taken the government to raise money through debt in order to pay for training the young generation that business used to, and now refuses to, and refuses to pay its taxes due.

    UK business has the most flexible laws in Europe and lowest tax rates. You are free-riding on society twice over.

    Pay fairer rate of taxes and support decent employment laws. The country would be richer for it, and so would your business.

  • Comment number 39.

    31 - Your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs in your original post suggest otherwise, and the reasons you give as a SME are fully understandable, but my point is that without the laws most companies would do the same, yet we live in a society which in the last 30 years where both parents have to work to cover the cost of living/housing. With regards to the under 25s again if everyone takes the same view in 10 or so years time, you are not going to have the same quality of workforce when employing over 35's so it will be over 45's and so on and so forth.

    Whilst in purely selfish terms that is what is best for you and your business, ultimately as a society / workforce the position is untenable in the long term

  • Comment number 40.

    There's a buoyant manufacturing sector in the UK labour market at least at the beginning of 2011, but there's also a ton of uncertainty. It means that recruiters are taking a very conservative approach to hiring
    1. temporary, low-paying jobs for boys and
    2. temporary, but highly-skilled jobs for men.
    Thousands of temporary placements are happening weekly.
    So what?
    So, there's a very weak demand for permanent staff - staff that get benefits, pay into pensions, have security...
    e.g. There's a lot of folk employed in the car industry and this sector highlites the temporary worker requirements. Employers are not taking on permanent staff.
    What are they waiting for?
    Recovery.
    While the UK's manufacturing sector continues to add temporary staff, other sectors are resisting hiring at all.
    What are they waiting for?
    Confirmed recovery.
    The finance sector says there's evidence of increasing employment opportunities in the financial field. These are primarily back office and support positions. Good starting jobs for boys. With the latest government statistics showing youth unemployment running at a shocking one in five, those in the 16-25 age bracket should note that there are real opportunities within Finance, Banking and Business Services. That's nice, but do these real opportunities come with any benefits? Are they longterm? Do they come with training and/or real business experience?
    January's average earnings growth were not exactly the stuff of gravy-trains. Weekly earnings rose 1.8% in the three months to December compared with a year earlier i.e. down from 2.1% in November.
    The really well-paying, important jobs in companies are proving hard to fill. People who are in jobs, people who successfully made it through the recession are starting to apply pressure internally for more money, but there isn't that same pay pressure for low-skilled jobs - jobs where people are easily replaced.
    In broad terms, there has been a move upward in the number of pay raises but they continue to trail well behind the rate of inflation. Workers to say it bluntly, are getting poorer. Manufacturing is among the most buoyant sectors. Most increased pay rates are coming from manufacturing, but not to inexperienced boys. Inexperienced boys probably turn over faster than you can flip an egg.
    I think the labour market is becoming more and more divided between
    1. those well-skilled manufacturing men who can push for a pay deal that will at least offset inflation and
    2. the rest, the boys - where job security and minimum standards become the main priorities.

  • Comment number 41.

    And before I get stick for 'having a go at older people' I completely agree with post 14!

  • Comment number 42.

    31. At 3:43pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    'Where you are wrong is suggesting we discriminate..we take a statistical judgement on who (to employ)'

    Sorry heroic saviour of the country.. you may not call it discrimination but it is.

  • Comment number 43.

    37. At 3:57pm on 16 Mar 2011, lillabeth84 wrote:
    When you look at it like that it's not surprising that a large majority of my friends (all high achievers aged 25-30) are looking at moving abroad. Who's going to pay then!?
    ==============================

    That's a coward's way out, like a banker. They should stay and fight.

  • Comment number 44.

    #17 JfH

    Still councils are working hard to help prop the property prices ...

    www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12754818

  • Comment number 45.

    29. At 3:35pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    'I don't expect the NHS to fix me, I have private medical insurance. I don't expect the state to pay for my children, I pay for private schools, I don't expect the state to pay for my street lights, I live on a private road.'

    Well lucky you.... soon you can have a private security firm looking after you as well... like some do in Bahrain.


  • Comment number 46.

    Sorry Ms Flanders, but, dare I say another 'ageist' blog?

    Read your whole piece, several times - unfortunately, your last paragraph lets you down completely - and is completely 'off your own topic' too?

    Am not being critical, Stephanie, but am more focused with a critique approach of some of your blogs - especially potential 'ageism'?

    As a highly educated and experienced journalist employed by the BBC - we respect that - and equally expect much so much more.

  • Comment number 47.

    Unfortunately the last government spend most of the time (& money) supporting the public sector with soft jobs & huge pensions, instead of saving money, & left the private sector & its workers to fend for themselves. The government then decided to pour money into the greedy banking sector, yet has done nothing to bring anyone to account. Meanwhile many over 50s like myself lost substantial parts of our private pensions through the collapse of Equitable Life, & have seen our savings lose value every year due to higher inflation than interest rates. Sorry, but it is hardly surprising then that we over 50s in the private sector are now looking after eachother.

  • Comment number 48.

    @ 43: What is there here for them to fight for? and what exactly is it that they should be fighting?

    I am not expecting to receive any pension, if I stay and take a well paid job I will be accused of being one of the overpaid who should be paying more into society to pay for the less fortunate - I don't get a well paid job and again - what's the point? By the averages of my social demographic I'm doing well but still can not afford to do any of the things I would like.

  • Comment number 49.

    I have two companies with about ten workers each.
    In one we have a fork lift driver aproaching 65 who wants to continue but is having problems turning his head which would make the job impossible. What to do?
    I have one cleaner who does a 18 hours per week for £160 and who has worked for me for less than a year. She is now going back to Poland with her husband (whom i also employ) to start his own company as they planned a year ago. Unfortunately she has just found out she is pregnant and I now have to pay her for £120 per week for the next 26 weeks.
    I cant be the only employer who has these problems and it might go to show why certain groups are more employed than others.
    One has to factor in these statistical possible extras when looking for employees. I want to take on another four or five people soon but some days I just cant be bothered with all the hassle and just put it off for another few months. Probably another 50,000 small employers feel the same.

  • Comment number 50.

    # ukblah etc

    Easy to criticise more difficult to actually do something.

    I'll leave all you on the left to carry on expecting something for nothing whilst I'll continue to employ and provide for families, export goods to Europe and Africa to help our BoP and during the course of the next 12 months provide over £0.5M to the exchequer in NI and Corporation Tax.

    And your contribution (aside from words) to our society is exactly what?

  • Comment number 51.

    The good thing about employing over 65's is they are more likely to just drop dead, which means you don't have to worry about trying to get rid of them legaly. There are also a lot of them, so they can be employed for less.

    They also don't get stroppy about their 'future'...as it appears the young do... especialy in the middle east.

  • Comment number 52.

    47. At 4:25pm on 16 Mar 2011, nrh_sweden wrote:
    Unfortunately the last government spend most of the time (& money) supporting the public sector with soft jobs & huge pensions, instead of saving money, & left the private sector & its workers to fend for themselves.

    Sorry, but it is hardly surprising then that we over 50s in the private sector are now looking after eachother.
    ===============================================

    Well fortunately now you have a government of the Clarksons, by the Clarksons, for the Clarksons.

  • Comment number 53.

    Abe Lincoln once said that "you can fool some of the people all the time...", and something similar is being flagged up in the unemployment data for the young. It can be rephrased as "you can con some of the young people all of the time....."

    Young people go massively into debt (fees plus living expenses) to get "degrees" from "universities" on the assumption (or at least the reasonable hope) that it will help them to get a good job once they leave.

    But there are universities and universities, just as there are degrees and degrees. Some so-called "universities" are just re-branded tech colleges etc, and some "degrees" are in subjects which, in employment terms, are all but worthless.

    A degree in, say, maths, English or science at a Russell Group university will generally get a graduate into good employment, but a degree in frisbee dynamics at the University of Never-'eard-of-it won't even get you a McJob.

    This is a con, as of course is the debt that the boomer generation is loading onto young people. Market economics tells us that an oversupply of graduates drives wages downwards. How many media studies graduates do we actually need?

    It would be far better if we withdrew funding from universities and courses with low employment value, and transferred it to apprenticeships.

    Instead of using student loans to fund fees for low value degrees, why not use this money to subsidise firms to provide apprenticeships? This would make far more sense, and would serve young people far better.

  • Comment number 54.

    29. At 3:35pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:

    I don't expect the NHS to fix me, I have private medical insurance. I don't expect the state to pay for my children, I pay for private schools, I don't expect the state to pay for my street lights, I live on a private road.

    ================================================================================

    And I suppose even your lowest paid staff can also afford to send their children to private schools.

  • Comment number 55.

    #36. anotherfakename wrote:

    "It is not low interest rates that have caused the problem. We need to look at supply and demand."

    Sorry, but you are entirely wrong.

    The price of money effects mortgage volume due to the daft idea of short term affordability this is the cause of the mass market overpricing of houses. It is nothing to do with ultra high absurd pay or supply and demand.

  • Comment number 56.

    37. At 3:57pm on 16 Mar 2011, lillabeth84 wrote:
    When you look at it like that it's not surprising that a large majority of my friends (all high achievers aged 25-30) are looking at moving abroad. Who's going to pay then!?


    High achievers or simply high earners? There is a huge difference.

    42. At 4:05pm on 16 Mar 2011, ukblahblahblacksheep wrote:

    31. At 3:43pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    'Where you are wrong is suggesting we discriminate..we take a statistical judgement on who (to employ)'

    Sorry heroic saviour of the country.. you may not call it discrimination but it is.


    Of course it is discrimination. Get real. Otherwise why not have the sheer farce of a lottery for any emplyment position of those who may want the job.

    In simple terms, genuine hard working people want the work, the content, the responsibilities. Too many of the work shy, the unskilled, or the supposedly "educated" masses, young in particular, simply want "money".

    Life is tough and it ain't gonna get easier.

  • Comment number 57.

    I am a young male, above the salary curve but by no means a high-earner.
    People need to remember why we go to work; it is not for a big society. I go to work so I can live the lifestyle I want in the place that I want.

    I owe this country nothing, I owe my employers nothing, I will be moving to the USA as soon as I find work there because I know that for working hard, I will be rewarded. The UK is full of unhappy, overworked people, its time employers realise that they will lose their best staff if they keep demanding more and paying less.

  • Comment number 58.

    The baby-boomer generation in the West has been the most molly-coddled and fortunate in history, and yet all we hear is moaning and expectancy from them.

    They were born into wealthfare state.
    They did not fight in wars unlike their parents generation
    Had free education in youth
    Had full employment when entered the workforce
    Rode a long property boom
    Paid in far less in taxes than they will withdraw

    And yet in spite of all their espousals of peace and love in the sixties were the ones who voted in the neo-liberals, supported greater inequality, refused to pay fair rates of taxes, crime rates soured, bought everything on tick, and have left a massive debt burden on their children.

    The over 50's should feel ashamed, very ashamed of the havoc they have wrought on society in their selfishness.

  • Comment number 59.

    @53 "Instead of using student loans to fund fees for low value degrees, why not use this money to subsidise firms to provide apprenticeships? This would make far more sense, and would serve young people far better. "

    Well even better, perhaps pay the UK company that ran a successful software apprenticeship scheme to continue that instead of (as the government is currently doing) paying a very large and very rich American corporation to reinvent the wheel (while of course making sure the new apprentices only learn about M**** products).

  • Comment number 60.

    Why do we assume that just because someone is young they have a bad work ethic? I'm not trying to be PC here, I just find that the 20 somethings (although inexperienced) generally have a lot more drive because they are putting energy into building their careers. What they lack in experience they delivery in hours.

  • Comment number 61.

    Great analysis! Alas, it confirms the UK is headed for trouble but not just the UK. I live in Italy and the trouble here - few jobs for the young and poorly paid - is very much the same. Clearly Cameron's austerity measures, cutting jobs in the public sector etc, are not the answer.

    What's needed are measures to support INNOVATION - meaning measure to support education and research - AND tax incentives/subsidies for start-ups. Until we create an environment favourable for the enterprising young in the UK and everywhere in Europe, nothing will happen and the young will continue to bear the brunt of unemployment!

  • Comment number 62.

    Grrrr Here we go again, How many media studies graduates do we need? How ignorant are some people, I don't know of a media studies graduate of my generation that does not work in either Internet / New Media, TV, Journalism, Film, Print / Design. Out of all the degrees to pick on the one that has covers the area of commercial life other than banking or government which has grown the most over the last 10 or 15 years is media and internet, we are world leaders in media, internet and advertising all of which generate considerable income. A degree in English no matter what university you go to is less useful in the real world, than learning how google works.

  • Comment number 63.

    57. At 5:02pm on 16 Mar 2011, Ngr1983 wrote:
    I owe this country nothing, I owe my employers nothing, I will be moving to the USA as soon as I find work there because I know that for working hard, I will be rewarded. The UK is full of unhappy, overworked people, its time employers realise that they will lose their best staff if they keep demanding more and paying less.
    ==============================================

    Ta Ta, then. Take a banker or two with you. I suspect the level of "best staff" will be improved in both countries.

  • Comment number 64.

    59. anotherfakename:

    "Well even better, perhaps pay the UK company that ran a successful software apprenticeship scheme to continue that instead of (as the government is currently doing) paying a very large and very rich American corporation to reinvent the wheel (while of course making sure the new apprentices only learn about M**** products)."

    Yes, spot on.


  • Comment number 65.

    57. At 5:02pm on 16 Mar 2011, Ngr1983 wrote:
    I owe this country nothing, I owe my employers nothing, I will be moving to the USA as soon as I find work there because I know that for working hard, I will be rewarded. The UK is full of unhappy, overworked people.....
    -----------------------------------------------
    I would be very surprised if you got nothing from this country. You sound quite selfish and you probably think that is a compliment.

    You will find that the USA is also full of unhappy, overworked people. The grass is not greener.

  • Comment number 66.

    Madam stephanie its good see the numbers and even better to know that growth rate of employment for women is low. I believe that firstly a research should be conducted that what women in britain are studying at the university?? In the field of engineering, business and finance, what is the %age of british women involved as these sectors have max. job opportunities. At my university i would say that it was very low in field of business. And if u want women to study languages, psychology or other subjects and then pls dont expect a job in business and Mangemnt.

    BY the way I am unemployed, can I be your secretary?? where can i Forward my CV???

  • Comment number 67.

    A rather unpleasant individual this Moljen character. Probably overweight, driving a Range Rover, watching Top Gear and reading the Daily Mail. Ah, les noveau riches, all about money but no class or compassion...Perhaps he should stop the ranting for a second and think about vulnerable people [here is some news: they DO exist!]. I am wealthy and I do pay my tax without grudging because the last thing I want is to live a good life among angry, invidious and unhappy people. I recommend Texas if he is so unhappy with the UK. I have been there once: hell on earth.

  • Comment number 68.

    Strange I thought one of the planks of the big society was the devolving of issues like planning to a more local level. I doubt many locals will welcome substantial new developments which the shortfall figures say are needed, all the evidence is they fight tooth and nail. Social housing eh, who would have thought it, a son of Maggie even thinking of reversing Maggies sell offs. If they start building tomorrow I doubt they can catch up.

    53 friendlycard

    In the current environment even high tech degrees are not getting jobs. Whilst I favour more not less apprenticeships there are problems in that funding is only available for listed subjects. The difficulty in setting up new apprenticeships in novel ie growing areas is something else.

  • Comment number 69.

    #50 Moljen

    "I'll leave all you on the left to carry on expecting something for nothing whilst I'll continue to employ and provide for families, export goods to Europe and Africa to help our BoP and during the course of the next 12 months provide over £0.5M to the exchequer in NI and Corporation Tax.

    And your contribution (aside from words) to our society is exactly what?"

    Oh please grow up! What do you on the right contribute to our society?

    You did not " employ and provide for families, export goods to Europe and Africa to help our BoP and during the course of the next 12 months provide over £0.5M to the exchequer in NI and Corporation Tax." for the good of either the UK economy let alone the good of society. You did however engage in these activities for personal gain. You could not undertake these activities without the physical, social and intellectual support of the wider society. The mere fact that you employ people does not give you any greater right than your employess to decide upon the level and type of those provisions.

  • Comment number 70.

    4. At 1:40pm on 16 Mar 2011, Rory Harrison wrote:
    Babyboomers having their cake and eating it again!

    Don't you believe it. We paid about 50% more income tax than now on the lower rate. I well remember 6/- in the £.

    We were also trying to get the working hours total down, the aim in 1965 was 35 hrs/wk. If we'd persisted there'd be a few more jobs about now. Back then it was about quality of life.

  • Comment number 71.

    When a BBC economic advisor doesn't know what's going on, we should all be scared! Firstly, the number of those on jobseekers allowance has NOT fallen. She has just added the so-called drops from one one to the next! Jobseeker claimants are down because when someone has been unemployed they come off of Jobseekers and go on an enforced 13 week government training course. For the 13 weeks these unemployed are not counted on jobseekers and are on a scheme called New Deal, they are NOT counted as unemployed at all! the 10,000 decline in jobseeker claimants is that a year ago 10,000 became unemployed for the first time!

    Secondly, if so many over 50's are doing so well, why do we have a 14 year high in the number of over 50's who have been out of work for over a year? We may have more over 65's that have CONTINUED in work, but if you lose your job anytime after 45-50, it is unlikely you will get a job again!

    It's scary how the government can manipulate numbers, and how little the media care to get the facts right!

  • Comment number 72.

    68. Arthur Daley:

    "53 friendlycard

    In the current environment even high tech degrees are not getting jobs. Whilst I favour more not less apprenticeships there are problems in that funding is only available for listed subjects. The difficulty in setting up new apprenticeships in novel ie growing areas is something else".

    Sadly, this is true. The listing restrictions for apprenticeships need to be widened, and funding diverted to apprenticeships.


  • Comment number 73.

    8. At 1:53pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    Ergo - anybody under 24 probably has no experience or worst still needs educated so unless somebody is subsidising via an apprentice scheme then we're not prepared to take the risk.

    Ergo - anybody under 35 probably has children or may decide to have them at sometime in the future and expects me to pay for them and their colleagues to pull double shifts so as they can swan about for a year or so at somebody elses expense or time. So again we're not prepared to take the risk.

    Now if somebody is aged 45 plus all the way through to 70 then they're probably educated, probably have no interest in breeding, generally have decent work experience.

    Bit of a no brainer really

    ______________________________________________________

    You might want to get your human resources manager to look at discrimination law in this country. Just a thought.

  • Comment number 74.

    Not all of us 65s are managing to keep our jobs!Beware that window between now until October 1st 2011. My public service employer,having recently reappointed me, following a whole department redundacy, now refuses to extend my contract beyond August 31st, as my birthday falls before the new legislation comes into force. Consequently I'm then out- no redundacy package either after 41 year's service! It's sickening to see how Local Authorities are rolling over to the Coalition's mantra of cut, cut, cut, regardless of expertise, loyalty and long service.
    Sadly my demise will not make an opening for a needy 16-24 year old. My one consolation is that I didn't vote the b......s in!

  • Comment number 75.

    73. EconomicsStudent wrote:

    "8. At 1:53pm on 16 Mar 2011, Moljen wrote:
    Ergo - anybody under 24 probably has no experience or worst still needs educated so unless somebody is subsidising via an apprentice scheme then we're not prepared to take the risk.

    Ergo - anybody under 35 probably has children or may decide to have them at sometime in the future and expects me to pay for them and their colleagues to pull double shifts so as they can swan about for a year or so at somebody elses expense or time. So again we're not prepared to take the risk.

    Now if somebody is aged 45 plus all the way through to 70 then they're probably educated, probably have no interest in breeding, generally have decent work experience.

    Bit of a no brainer really

    ______________________________________________________

    You might want to get your human resources manager to look at discrimination law in this country. Just a thought."

    = = = = = = = = = = =

    I'm sure you're right about disrimination law here. But could discrimination laws, by preventing businessmen from exercising the choices of the sort that Moljen describes, be inhibiting growth?

    If that were so, then would we have to make a choice between rolling back some of these laws, and/or settling for less economic output?



  • Comment number 76.

    I think the real picture is worse. With capped non-EU immigration and EU immigrants either going back or not coming here in the first place, there should be a drop in unemployment rather than an increase. I think next months figures are going to be shocking as the council job losses start increasing.

  • Comment number 77.

    Stephanie makes a "schoolgirl error" in the very last sentence of her blog when she says 20 per cent of 16-24 year olds are unemployed. The unemployment rater is 20 % -but its 20 per cent of the economically active population rather than the total population.

  • Comment number 78.

    75. At 7:29pm on 16 Mar 2011, Friendlycard
    I'm sure you're right about disrimination law here. But could discrimination laws, by preventing businessmen from exercising the choices of the sort that Moljen describes, be inhibiting growth?


    Yes I'm sure it does and Moljen describes the effect on small business owners as I understand it exactly. I just don't think its a good idea going around advertising the fact that you run your business in flagrant disregard of the law.

  • Comment number 79.

    78. EconomicsStudent:

    Indeed, he would be well advised to keep that under wraps, or ask for a number of years' experience that might meet the same ends ("30+ years experience required").

    More generally, I think we are paying a high price for excessive regulation (not just employment but planning and so on). The Global Competitiveness Report put the UK about 90th on "burden of government regulation", which must carry a hefty cost. A friend of mine said we could learn a lot from Singapore......

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm contracting at the minute having been made redundant in 2009, I've not yet gone for a job interview were the interviewer has advised they've received less than 500+ applications (in one case for a role with only one vacancy). I'm still contracting (and job hunting) and yes I'm female.

    While I'm hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel at the moment it is really a recruiter's market and they can afford to be very very selective

  • Comment number 81.

    Stephanie - I suspect the premise of your article is the 'lump of labour' fallacy - i.e. there's only a certain number of jobs going.

    The 70 year old accountant is a good example - could his job really be done by a 16-24 year old NEET?

    You could summarise it by saying - old 'uns nicking young 'uns job. Change young and old for asian and white, and you have a BNP recruitment poster.

  • Comment number 82.

    It is incredibly hard for young people coming out of university or school to get jobs because most employers want experienced staff and in the present labour market they can afford to take their pick.

    I would also say that present employment law, while great for women having children, is not so good for small businesses if they are going to take a year or two off having children. I work in a large university and there is a rolling programme of supplying maternity cover and this was never the case when I had children. We either took 3 months off paid maternity leave then returned or took an unpaid 5 year career break. I personally can understand why employers would be put off employing women of child bearing age regardless of the discrimination laws which are completely skewed in favour of the employee rather than business needs. I do think if you are intending to have children you should be upfront about it and accept that certain job opportunities are not going to be open to you. Not pc, I know but common sense must dictate that employers are not going to spend time training a new employee for them to go off on maternity leave for 12 months.

  • Comment number 83.

    Why do you persist in peddling 'The Guardian' nonsense that the over 65s 'steal' the jobs of the young. Presumably, for each job there would have been an application process and an interview open to all. The employer would then have selected the applicant considered most suitable.

    And why does everyone allow this move to turn one generation against the other gather strength. Ordinary folk live their lives for themselves and their families - just adapting to survive. It is weak governments who fail to keep a grip of a blatantly overheating economy, fail to curb the export of jobs and sign up to let cheap labour in. Maybe their hope is that, if we squabble and whinge amongst ourselves, we won't notice whose fault it all was and is.

  • Comment number 84.

    I am female,a chartered accountant and aged 61. I retired 18 months ago but have now just started my own business, not accountancy, for the first time in my life. I have lots of plans for my business,in which I have invested quite a lot of money, with one overriding caveat. I will not have anyone working for me as an employee as I wish to run a business not deal with employment issues. I do not wish to make a lot of money, just a reasonable return and I will certainly not be running the business for maximum profit but no employees under any circumstances.

  • Comment number 85.

    Excuse me, but I am a 57-year-old graduate, unemployed for 20 months and, to date, have applied for 174 jobs, with one interview, and no successful employment.
    I strongly dispute your assertion that older people have a better chance of obtaining a job.
    Younger management is extremely reluctant to employ anyone who is is older than they are for various reasons, including perceived intimidation from more experienced people.
    Young people and mature people are both discriminated against.
    Unfortunately, we don't seem to be able to do anything against this blatant ageist discrimination.
    Come the revolution...

  • Comment number 86.

    Had the present and previous Governments not decided between them to increase my OH's state pension age from 60 to 66 we would have been happy, at 57 years of age, to relinquish our jobs in favour of younger blood.As it happens we need to make that shortfall of £30,000 up, which means staying in work for longer, depriving younger workers of our jobs.Yet another example of Government not having a clue.No wonder they have to employ normal people to tell them what's going on.Say what, we'll do it for free-it's not actually rocket science for those of us in the real world!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Strange a couple of years ago when I became unemployed at 50 for the first time in my life I was told by my local job centre that I could not be unemployed at my age but was retired. This meant I was excluded from the figures and did not qualify for job seekers allowance and or for any of the re-training or support schemes funded by the Govt. I joined a telephone call-in on local BBC radio to the labour minister at the time on whom admitted after being challenged that the "official" unemployed figures were "distorted" ( he promised his team would get back to me regarding what was available for me but of course they never did) .
    Now we are told that the good news ( estimated ) is in the part of the unemployed sector that is not measured -pardon me for being cynical but I do not believe it.
    Since then I have been doing what-ever work I could -cleaning shelters for the homeless , cleaning pots and pans,packing basically what ever I could do whilst looking for better work.Even these jobs are very hard to find.I am usually the only British person working in these roles with everybody else usually being foriegn "students" whom never go to college and their strategy starts like this as a student and after five years and perhaps a local child then stay in the UK and start to build their lives in a better country than they left- ( I cannot really blame them for this aspiration which they share openly with me) but the nonsense about British people ( of what-ever ethnic base)not wanting to take the lower paid jobs is just not true.
    In the part of south london where I live this is how it is-there is no work full stop. My point is really simple please lets stop messing with the figures and spinning the facts about the employment market. It is a hard world at the moment but it has never been easy. If we have more trueful data then perhaps we can make a start on a plan?

  • Comment number 88.

    I have just found out that I'm not a Baby Boomer according to your article on tax, only those born between 1947 and 1964 qualify. I paid more in than I got out!! Can I now rid myself of all this angst?
    I do think that older people should retire, if they can afford it, and give young people, male and female a chance of work. I like to work at 72 is just being selfish.
    This is different this recession in that last time Females were taken on to do the lower paid jobs in the finance sector, because they were cheaper, and there were no opportunities for boys.

  • Comment number 89.

    Jobs for the boys - and the over 65s?

    Nah ... most UK jobs now go to the job and benefit stealing students and other immigrants costing the Global health service and taxpayer tens of billions of pounds a year in higher rents, congestion, communicable diseases, knife crime etc... proving that UK immigration carries a net cost made up mainly of the cummulative value of salaries and wages stolen from British people .... Billions of pounds a year net cost to the taxpayer...

    Tell us about it BBC! We're all ears!

  • Comment number 90.

    I'm really surprised by these statistics. Having started work in the early 80s it was an accepted fact that anyone over 45 on the payroll would be shed pretty much automatically! Youth at all costs had become the mantra and had seemingly stayed that way ever since.

    There seem to be a number of conclusions that could be drawn...or would at least make for a fascinating analysis;

    - One of the relative strengths of the UK economy compared to say...France for example, used to be that employment laws were less rigid. Employers could take on a youngster and give them a try! If it didn't work out then the cost of getting rid of them was low. Subsequent legislation and the explosion of wrongful dismissal claims has reversed this situation, creating a situation in which taking on untried staff is very risky! You're more likely to take someone with a track record.

    - The over 50s are nervous that their pensions are now uncertain and are seeking work as an alternative to penury in old-age. Many people who would have been classified as "economically inactive" are looking to boost their income.

    - Real work and life skills are in short supply. The ability to make things, solve problems, work in teams and actually turn up for work without a hangover are at a premium. The focus in recent years has been on emphasising technological over other skills as the route to work. The "tech-savvy" generation may be a whizz at downloading music for free and carrying on an almost interminable commentary on their mundane lives in cyberspace, but being conversant with Twitter does not translate into real money-making skills that other people want to buy!

    - The length of the boom years (funded more by the willingness of Chinese peasants to work long hours in factories for a dollar a day, than any skill or industry of our own) has left an entire generation, and even their own children, with little concept of tough-times and what you have to do!...the cult of youth in politics has also left us with senior politicians who are equally wrong-footed by testing times! My own experience as a graduate in 1983 was of writing around 250 job applications (individually typed in the days before word processing), moving 500 miles from home for my first job and living in eight different places in my first ten years of work. People mock the "get on your bike" slogan, which was pretty crass even at the time, but it has never been truer that sitting at home waiting for the "right job" to turn up is a recipe for wasting your youth.

    I am genuinely surprised by these statistics but I don't buy into the "intergenerational-betrayal" argument being put forward by some. The fact that some oldies are out there earning money, supporting themselves and contributing taxes is surely precisely what we will increasingly need? It is people who are content to draw benefits that they probably don't really need, who settle for being economically inactive, who have come to believe that a wide range of services provided to them at public expense is a basic human right...these are the people who are stealing off future generations!

  • Comment number 91.

    GreatBobFinance had a dig about Gordon Brown ruining our pensions. I am afraid that the rot set in during Margaret Thatcher's time in office. After a 20 year bull run in the stock market someone saw that pension funds seemed bloated so they made them reduce their funds to 102% of liabilities. Most companies took extended pension holidays and even extended these to their staff in lieu of pay increases. Then Gordon helped himself to the tax on dividends. Then the market fell 30% after the cushion in the funds had been spent. Final salary schemes are a thing of the past. Neither side can be trusted with our pensions. Simplify, make transparent and regulate for safety. That is all the government should do.

  • Comment number 92.

    "Wow, where have you been for the last 14 years? Didn't you notice another party in charge in between the last 2 Tory governments?

    If anyone is wondering about youth unemployment, just read the damming report by Prof. Wolf, see:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12622061

    Hundreds of thousands doing courses that lead no-where... neither to jobs or further education.

    Only 49% of 18 year olds have both Maths and English GCSE (C grade or above). At 16 it is less than 45%.

    So, Mr Tory hater... how come my taxes were raised so much to spend on "Education, Education, Education" by your beloved party, and yet they have produced a whole generation that have so many unemployable? "

    The clue is in the previous 17 years of hell and under investment where 3 generations of people were unemployed and left on the scrap heaps.

    There was no way this can even be addressed in 20 years, let alone 14.

    ...and don't assume I am a Labour voter, although I would rather vote for them than the scummy Tories.

  • Comment number 93.

    The UK needs more Molgens, less of the Reticent Traders.

    Making money may appear a lowly and grimey occupation to some of you but it's essential people are encouraged to continue taking risk (let's remember - most businesses fail, it's a serious gamble). Without more of them there will be no funds for the state to protect its people. Sure we need sensible regulation but the current burden is way beyond the point of reasonableness. The truth is that in comparison with our competitors here in Asia our notions of social justice are leading us into penury. People out here cannot believe that UK mothers get 12 months leave as of right, nice though it may be. My recommendation is that no new law affecting business and enterprise should be allowed onto the statute book without an assessment of whether it adds or subtracts costs for business. Laws in the former category should not be permitted to proceed in the absence of a pressing national interest.

  • Comment number 94.

    #93 OutofAsia,

    I am not too sure if your post is merely a wind-up or if you are totally clueless. I see no comments on this board that lead to the comclusion that work is not essential to the welfare of the country. I do however see commentators highlighting the imbablances within the economy.

    Perhaps you should be advised to look at the history of social justice here in the UK and learn from it. As Asia 'modernises' the very people that you presently exploit in your search for profit will also start demanding more. What will be your response to that?

    BTW, if you are in Asia what right do you have to call upon citizens of the UK to change their legislation to suit your political views?

  • Comment number 95.

    See Mark Easton's blog today (BBC UK) ... Vaz is claiming that job stealing students are worth £40 bn to the UK economy?

    Let's hope that Mr Easton is good enough to either produce full evidence in support of this ridiculous claim or withdraw the £40 bn statement and apologise for writing nonsense as the standard of misinformation from the BBC, in general, on this provocative and disturbing subject - is really quite appalling.

  • Comment number 96.

    I wish Stephanie would look into the Resource Based Economy advocated by the Zeitgeist Movement. She would then understand the absolute hopelessness of monetary system economics and why things can't 'get better'. It's time to stop supporting this system if we want a good future for our children. This system can't be 'fixed'.

  • Comment number 97.

    Just may be employers are wanting seasoned experienced people who have a much stronger work ethic over much younger qualified the world owes me a living types that mess up everything they touch?
    What we have now is a lot of people with degree qualifications that are in "totally irrelevant subjects that are very easy to pass courses".
    They move out of university take key positions in industry with very little experience of that industry, and to be truthful they are basically not ready for the role in terms of experience.
    Then you have very experienced and very seasoned people covering there butts and reporting into them, which creates a tense atmosphere.
    What follows then is one of two things a)the more experienced guys then leave the business, b) the graduates clear them all out.
    Which creates a situation where you have a bunch of very green "inexperienced people"running the business and they drop huge clangers.
    Motives for clearing the old guys out , well usual excuses a) cannot learn new skills (ageism), b) the older guys will challenge there thinking and shoot holes in the decisions they make, c)also using graduates appears cheaper,
    The interesting bit is Germany where you have a very successful economy because 90% of the businesses are run by people who have worked there way up off the shop floor. Thats why they are very successful in the manufacturing sector. And I may add only 25% of them have degrees, so we are focusing on the wrong types of education.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    The increase in over 65s in work rather confirms the suspicion that a work till you drop society is in danger of developing.

    If people need to work on because their pension plan has not worked out or they have debts or commitments, its understandable. However if the Big Society means anything, people in their mid 60s who have benefited from house prices and better pensions should be volunteering to do worthy things for the benefit of society and to help themselves to stay fit and active. But these figures suggest that many older people have embraced the selfishness of the Thatcher era by continuing to work in paid employment.

 

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