One in four jobseekers across north Nottinghamshire is now aged over 50

One in four jobseekers is now aged over 50
One in four jobseekers is now aged over 50

Nearly 2,000 jobseekers in north Nottinghamshire is now over 50, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The data shows that in January, across the districts of Mansfield, Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe and Newark & Sherwood, there were 7,227 people out of work and claiming benefits linked to unemployment, either Job Seeker's Allowance or Universal Credit.

Of these 1,905 were aged 50 or over, while 3,805 were aged 25-49 and 1,517 were aged 16-24.

The think tank International Longevity Centre UK, says older unemployed people are hampered by age discrimination and a lack of flexibility from employers.

Dr Brian Beach, a senior research fellow at ILC-UK, which specialises in researching the impact of longevity on society, said few older people benefit from effective support in their job search.

He said: "The key barriers older people face are ageist attitudes and a lack of flexibility in working arrangements.

"Tackling age discrimination must be the number one priority if we are to enable more people who want to work to find jobs in later life."

Across the UK, 27 per cent of unemployed benefit claimants were aged 50 or older in January equating to 270,000 people.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: "Experienced workers are a huge asset to the workforce and there are now 10.4 million over 50-s in employment – a record number."

"Through the National Careers Service and personal work coach support at their local Jobcentre Plus, we are supporting older people to get the work they want regardless of their age.

"In addition, our Fuller Working Lives strategy is encouraging employers to recruit, re-train and retain older workers."

In Bassetlaw the number of people claiming out-of-work benefits rose by 45 per cent in the year to January, almost double the national increase of 23 per cent.

In Newark & Sherwood the number of claimants rose by 20 per cent, while in Mansfield it was eight per cent and Broxtowe six per cent.

The figure in Ashfield remained largely unchanged.

The Office for National Statistics put these rises down to the Universal Credit roll-out process.

A spokesman said: "Under Universal Credit, a broader span of claimants are required to look for work than under Jobseeker's Allowance.

"As Universal Credit full service is rolled out in particular areas, the number of people recorded as being on the claimant count is therefore likely to rise."