MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Some one million people aged 50 to 64 in the United Kingdom are involuntarily jobless through a combination of redundancy, ill health, or early retirement factors, which could cost the country's economy billions, a report from the charity, The Prince's Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) said Thursday.
"The missing million are already with us, struggling to make do as they sit in no-man's land, waiting to reach the relative safety of State Pension Age. The catastrophic cost that these individuals are paying alongside the potential economic and social benefits to be gained from them re-joining the workforce, cannot be ignored and warrants urgent action from policymakers and employers," the PRIME report, published Thursday, said.
The report, "The missing million: illuminating the employment challenges of the over 50s," finds that of the 3.3 million economically inactive people aged 50 to 64, one million are left jobless due to improper employer support and flexibility.
"Unless measures are taken now to support working longer, the size of the UK's workforce is likely to flat-line, projected to increase by just 4.5% over the next 20 years by comparison to an 18.2% rise over the last two decades. We estimate that, if the skills and abilities of the 50-64 age group were fully utilized and the employment rate matched that of those in their 30s and 40s, UK GDP could be 88.4bn GBP [approximately $141.7 billion] higher in 2014 (equivalent to an uplift of 5.6% of GDP)," the report claimed.
PRIME's research also found that a higher proportion of older workers does not challenge younger workers in the labor market since there is not a fixed number of jobs. The report also says that working longer is beneficial financially as well as health-wise since individuals are able to make more money and pension contributions in additional to maintaining social connections.
The report is the first of three published by PRIME and Business In The Community in a campaign to overcome the ongoing issue and outline employment solutions and benefits of maintaining an older workforce.