Older workers: The key to unlocking the UK’s productivity puzzle?

Figures from the Office for National Statistics published today* show that labour productivity – economic output per hour worked – continues to fall.

UK labour productivity has stagnated since the financial crisis of 2008, despite record levels of employment. This recent trend has been referred to as “the productivity puzzle”.

Other data reports that UK productivity continues to lag behind competing nations Germany, France, Italy and the USA.

Commenting on today’s data, Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings & Retirement at Aviva said:

“Today’s Britain faces a productivity puzzle. We believe the key to unlocking this puzzle in the future is our untapped workforce of older employees.

“Between now and 2030 it has been estimated that our working population will fail to keep pace with our total population, driven primarily by our ageing society2.This shortfall of workers is exacerbated by low levels of employment among older workers, aged 50 and over, with too many skilled older workers out of the workforce altogether. The employment rate of those aged 25 to 49 sits at 84%, it falls to 71% for those aged 50 to 643.

“Aviva is therefore committed to fostering and supporting longer working lives. We support Business in the Community’s goal of an additional million older workers – aged 50 and over – by 2022.4

“Achieving this goal is critical both to the UK’s economy and to our society as a whole. Age should be no barrier to our opportunity to contribute.”


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Notes to editors:



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