Increasing employment rate could add £105 billion to economy
Increasing the employment rate of workers over 55 could add £105 billion to the economy, according to Big Four company PwC.
The study compared employment rates of workers across 34 OECD countries and found that whilst the UK performs well in terms of employment rates for older workers when compared to other EU countries, it does less well when compared to countries outside the EU, such as the US and Japan.
According to PwC’s Golden Age Index, Sweden is the highest performing country in the EU. The company found that £105 billion could be added to the UK economy if the UK matched Sweden’s employment rate for workers over the age of 55.
The company’s analysis found that the UK’s full-time equivalent employment rate for workers aged 55 to 65 is 15 per cent lower than Sweden’s at 51 per cent, whilst the employment rate for workers aged over 65 stands at 7 per cent, which is 4 per cent lower.
The UK came in at number 18 in PwC’s 2014 index, whilst Iceland, Sweden and Norway came in first, third and sixth respectively.
Discussing the analysis, PwC Chief Economist John Hawksworth stated that the UK performs “relatively well” in comparison to other EU countries, which “reflects stronger employment growth in the UK than most other EU countries in recent years, including for older workers.”
However, he added that the UK performs less well compared to non-EU countries, such as the US, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.
Hawksworth went on to suggest that businesses introduce flexible working policies, such as “phased retirement”, and that schemes such as “reverse mentoring” will enable younger workers to pass on their digital skills to older workers.