Long-term unemployed older people are at risk of never working again unless tailored support is offered to help them back into work, according to a recently published TUC report.

The report draws on findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) which shows that unemployed people over 50 were ten times more likely to still be out of work after two years than back in work.

The briefing also warns that a period of long-term unemployment for an older person massively increases their chances of never working again. This is particularly the case for men, with every year of unemployment making it 24.3 per cent less likely that they will find work again. Almost half of all unemployed people over 50 today have been out of work for over a year.

The TUC report that says that being forced into early retirement can lead to social exclusion and often leads to poverty in retirement, as people will not have built up sufficient pension provision.

The unemployment rate for people over 50 is currently 4.3 per cent, lower than the overall unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent, and far lower than youth unemployment (18-24 year olds) which is 17.3 per cent. But the TUC warns that the Government must look at tailored support for older people to prevent them from being forced into early retirement against their will, as well as the young.

The report calls for the job guarantee, which is currently on offer to some young people, to be better funded and extended so that older people can benefit from the scheme too.

To read the report, go to:www.tuc.org.uk/extras/olderworkersrecession.pdf