Accessing the Labour Market: Age

Summary

Research demonstrates the impact age has upon accessing the labour market. Statistical data presents people below the age of 24 as being significantly under-represented in employment figures, at both Glasgow and national levels.

Furthermore, UK wide data highlights the 18-21 age bracket as the only age group which has experienced a decrease in their median wage in the last 12 months.

However, an individuals’ age, operates in conjunction with a cross-section of characteristics. Therefore, we would suggest viewing this section with specific consideration to the following:

Issues surrounding accessing the labour market are also strongly related to the other work-streams within this review:

 

Key Facts and Figures: Glasgow

Since 2001, Glasgow has experienced significant changes in the age profile of its residents.

Age group Pop. of Glasgow (2011) % of total pop. of Glasgow (2011) % change since 2001 % change in Scotland since 2001
0–15 95,627 18.4 -10.2 -5.7
16–29 144,766 21.2 +18.0 +10.7
30–44 129,266 23.7 -5.6 -9.2
45–64 141,421 20.9 +16.8 +17.4
65+ 82,165 15.7 -9.4 +10.6
Total population 593,245   +2.7 +4.6
GCC. Age Profile of Glasgow 2011.

Source: Glasgow City Council. 2013. Briefing Paper 2011 Census – Release 1 – Results for Glasgow City Council.

The following table provides a detailed breakdown of employment rates, by age, within both Scotland and Glasgow.

  Glasgow employment rate (%) Glasgow employment level Scotland employment rate (%) Scotland employment level
16–24 41.4 32,900 52.6 311,900
25–34 77.1 88,600 79.1 551,900
35–49 73.5 90,100 81.7 867,400
50–64 51.7 49,600 64.9 675,200
All aged 16 and over 52.9 261,900 57.8 2,481,300
16–64 63.3 261,200 71.0 2,406,300
ONS: Glasgow Employment Rate by Age 2013.

The data suggests those aged 16-24 face increased risks of poverty, due to their under-representation within the labour market. Young Glaswegians appear particularly at risk, with their employment rate 10 percentage points lower than the national average.

Those within the 50-64 age bracket are also significantly under-represented within the Glasgow labour market. With the cities employment rate around 13 percentage points lower than the national average.

Source: Annual Population Survey (ONS). 2014. Jan 2013 – Dec 2013.

 

The UK Labour Market

  Number of jobs (thousands) Median weekly wage Annual percentage change Mean weekly wage Annual percentage change
All employees 24,473 416.5 +2.6 502.2 +2.2
18–21 1,212 171.0 -1.8 193.7 +0.8
22–29 4,144 366.5 +1.5 401.7 +1.9
30–39 5,579 483.0 +0.8 552.4 +1.6
40–49 6,487 478.3 +2.1 577.6 +2.1
50–59 5,063 444.4 +3.2 550.9 +2.3
60+ 1,811 329.9 +3.1 419.4 +3.5
ONS: Median and Mean Wage, by age, UK 2012

UK wide data reinforces the difficulties faced by young people, highlighting the significant difference in median wage for those below the age of 22 in comparison to older age groups.

Although this may be representative of the junior roles held by young people, it should be noted that the 18-21 age bracket, is the only age bracket in which the median wage has decreased in the past 12 months.

To provide further context:

  • Youth unemployment (16-24) is 20.6% is the highest of all age groups, but the least likely (11.6%) to be unemployed for 24 months or more.
  • Put another way, approximately 4 in 10 young people are unemployed.
  • The unemployment rate of 20.6% for young people in Scotland is 0.5 percentage points higher than the UK rate.

Since 2008, this rate has increased by 7.0 percentage points, higher than the UK rate of 5.1 over the same period.

Source: Scottish Government. 2013. Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2012.

 

Recruitment Processes

Research funded by the DWP highlights age as explicitly and implicitly influencing employment procedures. Research involving 1190 business, produced the following figures:

  • 31% reported age preferences or had age criteria for recruitment.
  • 25% were provided with age data within their recruitment processes.
  • Around 22% of respondents believed age affected job suitability.

Further anecdotal evidence suggests the likelihood of older people, particularly those in the 55+ bracket, of receiving in-work training pales in comparison to their younger counterparts.

Source: DWP. 2010. Second Survey of Employers’ Policies, Practices and Preferences Relating to Age.