More older people working in the Netherlands and in the EU

11/03/2008 15:00

In 2006, 48 percent of people aged between 55 and 65 years in the Netherlands had a paid job. This is more than in 2000, when 38 percent of this group were still working. On average, labour participation among the older population in the EU 27 rose from 37 percent in 2000 to 44 percent in 2006.

Increasing labour participation at older ages is an important EU ambition. Under the Lisbon strategy labour participation in older groups in the EU is set to rise to 50 percent by 2010.

Percentage of older people in work (55 to 65 years)

Percentage of older people in work (55 to 65 years)

Main increase for women

In both the Netherlands and the EU 27, labour participation among older women rose more strongly than among men. In part this was because there is a general trend of increasing female labour participation, which is also reflected strongly among women in their fifties. In addition, retirement ages of both men and women have risen.

Large differences within EU

At 70 percent, Sweden had the highest percentage of people working in older age groups in 2006. Denmark and the United Kingdom followed, at around 60 percent. In Poland, Belgium and Italy on the other hand, only around 30 percent of older people still have a job.

Percentage of older people in work (55 to 65 years) in EU countries, 2006

Percentage of older people in work (55 to 65 years) in EU countries, 2006

Few older women work in southern Europe

Participation rates of both older men and older women are slightly above the EU average in the Netherlands. Sweden’s leading position is also a result of the fact that many women as well as men aged between 55 and 65 years are still in work. In some countries many older men still work, while only very few older women do so; in Spain and Greece, for example, around 60 percent of men but only 28 percent of women still have a job.

André Corpeleijn