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One in five Britons STILL shunning the workforce in line with latest ONS data


One in five Britons STILL shunning the workforce despite Chancellor’s bid to coax 1000’s out of early retirement

The state of Britain’s labour market has ratcheted up pressure on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt as he struggles to persuade people to return to work.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed 21.4 per cent of individuals were ‘economically inactive’ in the ultimate three months of last 12 months.

‘Economically inactive’ is classed as individuals who should not in work and haven’t been looking for or not been available for work.

Early retirement: Recent data from the Office for National Statistics showed a whopping 21.4% of individuals were classed as ‘economically inactive’ in the ultimate three months of last 12 months

It covers those that have left the workforce because they’re students, retired, have illness or injury, or are taking care of relations. 

The figure is stubbornly high despite a 0.3 per cent fall between October and December which the ONS attributed to 16-24-year-olds searching for work.

Despite this, inactivity remained above pre-pandemic levels, indicating the trend had develop into entrenched.

Between November 2019 and January 2020, before Covid struck, inactivity was at a record low of 20.4 per cent. 

The speed had been falling steadily since records began in 1971 but increased throughout the pandemic as people lost their jobs or became sick.

Some older Britons also decided to retire early and depend on their savings and the worth of assets similar to housing.

Over the October to December period last 12 months, the variety of UK adults classed as economically inactive was 767,000 higher than in the primary quarter of 2020.

Around 607,000 of those were people over the age of fifty, with the 50-64 age group the one demographic over 18 to see continued rises in economic inactivity over the past month.

The Chancellor has implored people to return back, pleading: ‘Britain needs you.’ He said the over-50s could have an ‘enormously wealthy life by continuing to make a contribution to the economy’, adding: ‘It doesn’t just must be about going to the golf course.’

Recent labour data shows unemployment is at a historic low of around 3.7 per cent, prompting business to lift wages, with regular pay up 6.7 per cent between October and December, to lure employees back to jobs.

But such price hikes have fuelled fears of inflation, meaning the Bank of England could consider mountain climbing rates of interest further, leading to higher mortgage and loan repayments for tens of millions of Britons.

Others are warning many older ex-workers could find their incomes placed under pressure by the fee of living squeeze, an element that didn’t exist when many quite for good.

Growth is of particular concern for Hunt and the Government after the UK’s GDP flatlined in the ultimate quarter of last 12 months.

The economy remains to be expected to shrink this 12 months.

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