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Increase in the number of unemployed 65+ women since 2016

MORE women than men aged 65 and older are unemployed for the first time since 2016, new research suggests.

Rest Less, which offers advice to older people, said the number of jobless women aged 65 and over increased from 7,200 to 21,000 in the past year.

Fewer older women are actively looking for work, reversing a long-term trend, said the report.

Rest Less said its analysis of official labour market data found that unemployment levels for those aged 65 and over increased by 53 per cent in the past year, a bigger percentage rise than any other age group.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said: “While the labour market is showing significant signs of improvement, and job vacancies have now surpassed pre-pandemic levels, it is clear that the recovery is not yet working for everyone, with thousands of talented older workers at risk of being left behind.

“In the last recession of 2009, women could retire at 60 and receive the state pension. Today it is 66.

“The sharp rise in unemployment levels among women aged 65 or over is only set to get worse over the summer with the winding down of the furlough scheme.

“There are far too many women in their 60s stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

“They can’t find a job due to rampant age discrimination but they can’t yet claim their state pension either, which puts them in an extremely vulnerable financial position as they approach retirement.

“If the government expects us to work until we are 66, rising to 67 by 2028, they need to invest in tailored retraining and employment support programmes for older workers.”

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