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Over 50s creating more economic growth and jobs than any other age group

Over 50s spending surpassed £376bn in the year to April 2016, generating an estimated £119bn for the UK economy

The UK's over 50s are creating more jobs and contributing more to the growth of the economy than any other age group, according to research from Hitachi Capital and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

The report found that the over 50s spent more (£376bn) than the younger generation for the first time in the year to April 2016, resulting in an estimated £119bn boost to UK GDP and supporting around 1.9 million jobs.

Over 50s' spending has also grown more than three times as fast (4.6% per year since 2003) as younger consumers (1.4% per year).

As life expectancy continues to rise, the number of over 50s in the UK has increased significantly – hitting 23.6 million in 2015. In line with this, the report estimated that the economic contribution of this age bracket will grow by 57% over the next 10 years.

The over 50s are also putting the younger age group to shame when it comes to job creation, with 45% of the UK's self-employed workforce now accounted for by the former age group.

Employers amongst the over 50s were also responsible for nearly 10 million jobs – two million more than the under 50s – while employment had also grown at a significantly faster rate.

Robert Gordon, CEO of Hitachi Capital UK, said:

“Our research challenges negative preconceptions about the over-50s – both in our industry and in society in general. Not only have we shown that this group is now the dominant force in the UK economy, but also that their contribution across jobs, spending and wealth creation is growing at a considerably faster rate.

“[…] It’s time we stopped being negative about the older generation and instead of writing them off, we need to become more effective at realising the economic ambitions of this growing section of the population, instead of stifling them.”

Henry Williams
Henry Williams

Henry has been writing for since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also contributed to many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Young Guns, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides. Before joining the team, he reviewed films for a culture website, and still harbours ambitions of being a screenwriter.


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