In April to June 2022, the number of people aged 65 years and over in employment increased by a record 173,000 on the quarter to 1.468 million, which is also a record level.
This increase was driven by rises in part-time work, and those who joined employment worked relatively few hours, so the average hours worked for those aged 65 and over fell in the last quarter.
The industries where informal employment is more common, such as hospitality and arts, entertainment and recreation, saw some of the largest increases.
Employment and employment types
In April to June 2022, the number of people aged 65 years and over in employment (as estimated by the Labour Force Survey (LFS)) increased by a record 173,000 on the quarter to 1.468 million, which is also a record level (Figure 1). Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data show a steady increase in payrolled employees over time, apart from a drop early in the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and rose by 34,000 since January 2022 to stand at 1.074 million in July 2022. An important reason for the differences between the LFS and RTI is that the latter does not include the self-employed, which is a common employment type for those aged 65 years and over.
The quarterly increase in people aged 65 years and over in employment in April to June 2022 was driven by part-time workers, with part-time employees increasing by 85,000 (17.7%) and the part-time self-employed increasing by 76,000 (28.7%). The increase in the part-time self-employed aged 65 years and over drove the increase in total part-time self-employment for people aged 16 years and over.
In April to June 2022, those aged 65 years and over in employment worked an average of 21.7 hours per week. Those who joined employment during this time worked relatively few hours, so this is actually a decrease of 0.7 hours from the 22.3 hours in January to March 2022.
Those working zero hours (because of sickness or holiday leave, for example) during the reference week increased by 30.7% over the quarter, and those working between 1 and 30 hours per week increased by 20.2% (Figure 3). While the number of people working very long hours (more than 45 hours per week) increased, this was offset by a decrease in those working between 31 and 45 hours per week (down 6.8%). Despite the decrease in average hours worked, the total weekly hours worked by those aged 65 years and over increased on the quarter (up 3 million to 31.962 million) as a result of the increase in employment for this age group.
In April to June 2022, the industries that those aged 65 years and over in employment were most likely to be engaged in were health and social work (12.7%), wholesale, retail, and repair of motor vehicles (11.0%), education (10.6%), and professional, scientific and technical activities (9.6%) (Figure 4). This was little changed on the quarter. The largest quarterly increases were in education (up 35,000), accommodation and food services (up 27,000), and other services (up 27,000), particularly arts, entertainment and recreation."
Estimates of the number of people aged 65 years and over in employment from the Labour Force Survey in dataset A05 and estimates of payrolled employees from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information will be published on 13 September 2022. Additionally, in March 2022, we published main findings from the Over 50s Lifestyle Study, looking at motivations for those aged 50 to 70 years leaving work during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Great Britain from March 2020, including why they left and whether or not they intend to return. This is due to be updated with data from the second wave of the survey on 27 September 2022.Back to table of contents
People in employment aged 65 years and over
User requested data | Released 5 September 2022
The number of people in employment aged 65 years and over, by employment type, average weekly hours worked, and industry. This is based on Labour Force Survey (LFS) estimates between January to March 2022 and April to June 2022.
Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information, seasonally adjusted
Dataset | Released 16 August 2022
Earnings and employment statistics from Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) (Experimental Statistics), seasonally adjusted.
Employment, unemployment, and economic inactivity by age group (seasonally adjusted)
Dataset A05 SA | Released 16 August 2022
Employment, unemployment, economic activity and inactivity by age group (seasonally adjusted). These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.
Full-time, part-time and temporary workers (not seasonally adjusted)
Dataset EMP01 NSA | Released 16 August 2022
Full-time, part-time and temporary workers (not seasonally adjusted). These estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey, a survey of households.
Employment by industry
Dataset EMP13 NSA | Released 16 August 2022
Employment by industry (Labour Force Survey). This table is updated four times a year in February, May, August and November.
Actual and usual hours worked
Statistics for usual hours worked measure how many hours people usually work per week. Compared with actual hours worked, they are not affected by absences and so can provide a better measure of normal working patterns. For example, a person who usually works 37 hours a week but who was on holiday for a week would be recorded as working zero actual hours for that week, while usual hours would be recorded as 37 hours.
Workers temporarily absent from a job as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would still be classed as employed; however, they would be employed working no hours. This has directly affected estimates of total actual hours worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the average actual weekly hours are the average of all in employment, those temporarily absent from a job also affected these estimates.
Employment measures the number of people in paid work or who had a job that they were temporarily away from (for example, because they were on holiday or off sick). This differs from the number of jobs because some people have more than one job. The employment rate is the proportion of people aged between 16 and 64 years who are in employment.
Workers furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or those who were self-employed but temporarily not in work, had a reasonable expectation of returning to their jobs after a temporary period of absence. Therefore, they were classified as employed under the International Labour Organization (ILO) definition.
A more detailed glossary is available.Back to table of contents
Labour Force Survey (LFS)
This article uses data collected from the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) Labour Force Survey, which is the largest household survey in the UK.
More quality and methodology information on strengths, limitations, appropriate uses, and how the data were created is available in our LFS Quality and Methodology Information (QMI) report.
The LFS performance and quality monitoring reports provide data on response rates and other quality-related issues for the LFS.
Pay As You Earn Real Time Information
This article also uses data from HM Revenue and Customs' Pay As You Earn Real Time Information system. They cover the whole population rather than a sample of people or companies, and they will allow for more detailed estimates of the population. The data are classed as Experimental Statistics as the methodologies used to produce the statistics are still in their development phase. As a result, the series are subject to revisions.
For more quality information, please see Sections 11 and 12 of our Employment in the UK: August 2022 bulletin.Back to table of contents
Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 9 September 2022, ONS website, article, People aged 65 years and over in employment, UK: January to March 2022 to April to June 2022Back to table of contents
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