The 55+ group are the only ones increasing their rates of employment during the economic downturn, while young people are being laid off, according to new research from Monash University.
- In April last year, 79.2 per cent of males aged between 20-24 were in work, but by this April this figure had dropped to 77.5per cent.
- Over the same period, women in the same age group suffered an even greater fall in their participation rate. In April last year 75.6per cent were employed and a year later that had dropped to 71.2 per cent. The same trends are found for those aged 25 to 29 and 15 to 19.
- But employment rates start to improve as workers get older, with those 55 to 69 increasing their participation rates from April 2008 to April this year.
- Men aged 60-64 have increased from 55.5 to 57.8 per cent in the same period. Men aged 65-69 had a 28.8 per cent work rate, with a rise to 32.8 per cent a year later. Similar outcomes are also found among women.
The figures contradict an argument by seniors groups that elderly people will be driven on to unemployment benefits and poverty when the aged pension age rises to 67.
The retirement age in Australia will be gradually lifted to 67 years by 2023, under changes outlined in this month’s budget.