One quarter of employed labour force over 50

The amount of people over the age of 50 belonging to the employed labour force has increased by 60 percent to 1.6 million over the past decade. This is partly due to ageing of the population and partly because more older people are working. In 2005, nearly one quarter of the employed labour force were in the age category over 50.

More older people employed

The number of older people working at least 12 hours a week has risen from 1.0 million in 1996 to 1.6 million in 2005. The proportion of employed over-50s in the age category 15-74 rose from 16 to 23 percent.

Employed over-50s by age group

Ageing of the population and employment

The increase of over-50s working at least 12 hours a week is partly the result of ageing of the population. Between 1996 and 2005, the amount of people in the age group 50–74 increased by one fifth to 4.3 million. Older people also more often had jobs. Labour participation of over-50s rose from nearly 28 to 37 percent.

Sharpest increase in age category 55–59

The amount of working people over 50 rose in all age groups. The sharpest increase was recorded among  55 to 59-year-olds. Labour participation in this age group rose from 40 to 55 percent. The number of working people also increased significantly in the age groups 50–54 and 60–64.

Labour participation over-50s by age group and gender

More older women employed

From 1996 to 2005, the labour participation rate among older women rose from nearly 28 to 36 percent. The most substantial increase was observed among women aged 50 to 54: an increase by 20 percentage points to 56 percent. But the amount of employed older men is still significantly higher.

People working beyond 65 often self-employed

The labour participation rate among over-65s remained low.  People working beyond 65 are often self-employed, for instance farmers and shopkeepers. In the 50-64 age category, 17 percent of working people were self-employed, as against 63 percent in the age category beyond 65.

Weekly working hours by age, 2005

Most over-65s have small jobs

Nearly half of over-65s holding paid jobs worked less than 12 hours a week in 2005; fewer than one in ten in the age group 50–64 were working less than 12 hours a week. One in five people working beyond the age of 65 still had full-time jobs. It concerns only a small group of 21 thousand people.

Hermine Molnár