Workers approaching 50 are significantly more affected by the cost of living crisis than their older counterparts, according to an analysis of workingwise.co.uk’s annual survey data by Shalin Maina from the University of Kent.
The age breakdown shows consistency in concerns about some issues and differences in others and suggests that, despite the policy focus on over 50s, it is vital that employers also focus attention on the generation just below.
The data shows that the 46-50 age group includes many people are considering changing jobs or working more in response to the cost of living crisis, while those in the 56-60 age groups are more likely to be looking at staying in work longer as a result of the crisis.
The younger middle aged are more likely to report a health impact of the cost of living crisis, with 46 to 50 year olds more affected.
When it comes to ageism, the perception of whether soft skills gained over a working lifetime are valued by employers seems to be consistent across age groups and respondents across all age groups expressed a generally positive attitude toward acquiring new skills, with 88% overall saying they are open to learning new skills.
The experience of ageism in the recruitment process is also reported across all age groups, with variations in the specific aspects highlighted. For example, respondents in the 46-50 age group frequently mentioned issues with the way job adverts are presented.
The desire for early retirement is relatively consistent across age groups, but younger middle aged people are most likely to be considering it. This group were also more pessimistic about the potential impact of Artificial Intelligence [AI] on their ability to find a new job and more interested in considering job share possibilities.
Maina says: “In summary, while there are some variations in the responses of different age groups, work-related issues such as the cost-of-living crisis, health impact and concerns about ageism and AI appear to be prevalent concerns across the board. The age group 46-50 stands out in several areas, indicating a higher level of concern and consideration of changes in response to these challenges. Overall, these findings highlight the complex interplay between financial pressures, health considerations and retirement decisions amid the challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis.”
*Full survey results can be found here.