In the UK, there are around 528,000 people in employment aged 70 years or over, representing 1.6% of all people in employment aged 16 years or over.
Industries and occupations covering agriculture tended to have the greatest share of older workers, with 11.4% of workers in the crop and animal production and hunting industry being aged 70 years or over.
The creative, arts and entertainment industry and the Chief Executive and Senior Officials occupation group also had high shares of workers aged 70 years or over.
There was more variety in those occupations and industries with the lowest shares of workers aged 70 years or over.
The data tables accompanying this release show the shares of employment for those aged 70 years or over, 65 years or over and 60 years or over by industry, occupation, sector (public versus private), sex, region and ethnic group.
In the year ending September 2019, there were approximately 81,000 adults aged 16 years or over employed in the elementary agricultural occupations. In contrast, around 1 in 10 (9.7%) were aged 70 years or over; this is the highest proportion of all occupation groups. This was followed by agricultural and related trades occupations, which had around 379,000 employees aged 16 years or over, of which 7.8% were aged 70 years or over.
Of the five occupation groups with the greatest proportion of workers aged 70 years or over, the managers and proprietors in other services occupation group had the highest number of total employees, at around 624,000 (Figure 3).
In the year ending September 2019, approximately 1,045,000 adults aged 16 years or over were employed in IT and telecommunications occupations, where 0.2% of these workers were aged 70 years or over. This occupation group had the lowest proportion of workers aged 70 years or over compared with all other occupations. This group was followed by nursing and midwifery, childcare and related personal services, and sales supervisor occupations, where 0.3% of workers employed were aged 70 years or over. Of these, sales supervisor occupations had the smallest number of employees aged 70 years or over, at 180,000 (Figure 4).
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The analysis presented here has been compiled using the October 2018 to September 2019 Annual Population Survey (APS) dataset. Differences between estimates for specific industries or occupations have not been tested for statistical significance. Caution is therefore advised when comparing between industries or occupations, particularly where differences appear small. In the charts and accompanying data tables, we have indicated those estimates that are based on small sample sizes and are therefore likely to be subject to greater uncertainty.
For industry breakdowns, we have used the two-digit industry division level of the Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC 2007). For occupation breakdowns, we have used the three-digit minor occupation groups from the Standard Occupation Classification 2010 (SOC 2010). In both cases, we opted for the greatest level of detail that did not result in large numbers of suppressed or unreliable estimates.Back to table of contents
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