More older people working

12/05/2010 15:00

The labour participation of over-50s in the Netherlands has risen substantially in recent years. Among the over-65s, it has even doubled since 2001. Self-employed people in particular continue to work after the official retirement age. They often do so part-time, however.

Labour participation of over-50s, 2001 and 2009

Labour participation of over-50s, 2001 and 2009

Labour participation more than doubled for over-65s

The net labour participation in older age groups has risen strongly in recent years. In 2009, 57 percent of 50-64 year-olds were in work. In 2001 this was just under half.

Only a small percentage of people older than 65 worked. Labour participation in this group did more than double in the space of eight years though, to just over 3 percent in 2009. This is the equivalent of 76 thousand people.

Large rise in labour participation of older women

The increase in labour participation among women aged over 50 was larger than among men in this age group. However, in this age group it still mainly men who work. 

Percentage of self-employed among working over-50’s,   2001 and 2009

Percentage of self-employed among working over-50’s,   2001 and 2009

Most working over-65s self-employed

Just over half of people older than 65 who were still working in 2009 were self-employed. One of the reasons for this is that self-employed people build up less pension than employees. Only one in six 50-59 year-olds who worked were self-employed, compared with one quarter of 60-64 year-olds.

Over-50s in work by working hours, 2009

Over-50s in work by working hours, 2009

Working to an older age, but shorter working hours

People who continue to work past the age of 65 often work shorter hours. Only 28 percent of over-65s still in work in 2009 worked full-time. For 50-64 year-olds this was more than half. Many over-65s work for  maximum twenty hours a week.

Marian Driessen