Older employees hardly prepared to change their jobs

06/03/2008 15:00

In 2006, nearly 85 percent of working over-45s were already working in the same job for at least four years. As people grow older, they appear to be less prepared to move from one job to another.

Low degree of mobility

In 2006, over one third of the employed labour force were mobile, i.e. they were working in the same job for less than four years. Women were slightly more mobile than men. As people grow older, labour market mobility declines. Among 45 to 54-year-olds, only two in every ten were mobile, the rate among over-55s only one in ten.

Labour market mobility, 2006

Labour market mobility, 2006

People holding intermediate-level jobs less mobile

Most older participants on the labour market were working at least four years in the same job in 2006. Older people working at intermediate level are the least prepared to change jobs. People holding elementary-level and scientific jobs are more mobile. More or less the same pattern applies to the level of education. People in the 45–64 age bracket holding jobs at intermediate level are most frequently working in the same job for a considerable number of years.

The labour mobility rate of older people is highest in the sectors hotels and restaurants and business services and lowest in agriculture and financial institutions.

Labour market mobility of older employees by occupational level, 2006

Labour market mobility of older employees by occupational level, 2006

Mobile over-55s work shorter hours

People mobile on the labour market aged 55 and older on average worked 31 hours a week in 2006. Over-55s who were not mobile averaged 35 hours a week. Mobile 45 to 54-year-olds averaged nearly 34 hours a week, virtually equal to the average working week.

Average number of weekly working hours

Average number of weekly working hours

Jan-Willem Bruggink and Clemens Siermann