Older Londoners contribute £53bn in work and care hours

Older Londoners are contributing £53bn to the economy by working and offering voluntary care to their families, a report has suggested.

The Economic Contribution of Older Londoners said that of the two million people aged over 50, 19% generated £47bn for the economy through work.

It also found the age group offered 64 million free childcare hours per year.

The Mayor of London's office, which commissioned the report, said it was about "dispelling stereotypes".

Boris Johnson's office used data to study demographics, employment, care figures and volunteering statistics to "dispel stereotypes that older people are a burden on their families and the public purse".

The report found that of the proportion of older men working full-time in London, 82% were working full-time, compared to 88% of younger men.

For older women, the research suggested that 56% of older women were working full-time compared to 67% in younger women.

The older generation tended to have jobs in the health and education sectors and of those aged 50-69 who were not in employment, about 13% had looked for a job in a four-week period.

It also found that about 16% of older Londoners were providing unpaid care for adults with most offering about 33 hours per week.

'Coalface of our economy'

While less than 10% of the one million London families with children used grandparental childcare, those that did used it for 15 hours per week or 760 per year equating to about £600m per year, the report said.

Deputy Mayor of London, Victoria Borwick, said: "Older Londoners are not slowing down and enjoying leisurely retirements.

"This timely report shows they are at the coalface of our economy, contributing through paid as well as unpaid work."

Those aged between 65-74, were also found to be the most active volunteers in the city with about 26% offering between six and 12 hours per month.

Gordon Meenn, 77, who volunteered as a Team London Ambassador for the 2012 Olympic Games, said: "I love to meet people and help in the community to broaden my outlook about what London is about."

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