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Older Workers

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the percentage of the workforce which will be over age 65 in (a) 2012, (b) 2015 and (c) 2020. (231840)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 October 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on the percentage of the workforce which will be aged over 65 in a) 2012, b) 2015 and c) 2020 (231840).

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour force projections published in January 2006, the percentage of the workforce aged 65 and over will be 2.2 per cent in 2012, 2.4 per cent in 2015 and 2.4 per cent in 2020.

The workforce is defined as those who are economically active which includes all people aged 16 and over who are either in employment or 1LO unemployed.

The labour force projections used to answer this question are ONS’s best estimate available of the future labour force, based on demographic and activity rate trends available in 2005. Since their publication new population estimates and population projections have been produced. The labour force projections are therefore not consistent with figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release. ONS is working to update the labour force projections using more recent activity rate trends and up-to-date population estimates and projections. We expect that revised labour force projections will be published in spring 2009.

Given these estimates are derived from a sample survey and use modelling techniques to project past trends forward over a long time period of time they are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Further information on the methodology behind the current labour force projections is available from the National Statistics website at:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/article.asp?ID=1346&Pos=1&ColRank=&Rank=224

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what percentage of the workforce is aged over (a) 50, (b) 65 and (c) 70. (231952)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 October 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what percentage of the workforce is aged over (a) 50, (b) 65 and (c) 70. (231952)

The workforce has been defined as people aged 16 and over who are economically active. Economically active comprises all those in employment plus those unemployed. The table provides the percentage shares of the total economically active population for the age groups requested.

The estimates are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) using the latest data available (April-June 2008). As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

The estimates in the table are derived from the LFS microdata which are weighted using the official population estimates published in autumn 2007. They are not entirely consistent with the figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release which are weighted using more up-to-date population estimates.

Percentage share of total economically active1 population, aged 16+, three month period ending June 2008, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted

Age

Economically active (percentage)

50 and over

26.2

65 and over

2.3

70 and over

0.8

1 Economically active comprises all those in employment plus those unemployed

It should be noted that the estimates:

exclude people living in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc).

Source:

Labour Force Survey