Higher labour participation rate over-55s

28/05/2009 15:00

The labour participation rate among 55 to 65-year-olds has increased considerably over the period 2001-2008. The Social and Economic Council (SER) aims at a participation rate of 80 percent for 20 to 65-year-olds in 2016. In order to achieve this, more over-55s would have to participate on the labour market.

Nearly half of over-55s participate on labour market

Last year, 47 percent of over-55s participated on the labour market. The rate would be nearly 50 percent, if all over-55s who have indicated they like to work would actually participate on the labour market.

Labour participation among people over the age of 55 has risen continually from under 35 percent in 2001 to 47 percent in 2008. If this trend continues at the same rate in the years to come, the target figure set by the CPB of 58 percent for this age group is feasible.

Labour participation among 55 to 65-year-olds

Labour participation among 55 to 65-year-olds

Over-60s have low participation rate

The labour participation rate is relatively low for people above the age of 60. Less than 30 percent of 61 and 62-year-olds were active on the labour market in 2008. With less than 15 percent, the rate for 63 and 64-year-olds was even lower. The labour participation rate for 55 and 56-year-olds has been higher than the target figure of 58 percent set by the CPB for all over-55s since the turn of the century. For 57 and 58-year-olds, the target was achieved in 2007.

Labour participation among 55 to 65-year-olds by age

Labour participation among 55 to 65-year-olds by age

More over-55s active on the labour market

The proportion of over-55s taking part in pre-pension and early retirement schemes has declined in recent years. As most pre-pension schemes will be abolished in the coming years, the labour participation rate of people in the 55-65 age category will increase further. 

Boukje Janssen and Martijn Souren