HC Deb 20 May 2004 vol 421 cc1174-5W
Paul Holmes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what percentage of single non-working people between the age of 50 and state pension age are in each decile of overall income distribution, broken down by gender; and if he will make a statement; [172537]

(2) how many and what proportion of people between the age of 50 and state pension age, who are not working, are in each decile of overall income distribution, broken down by gender; and if he will make a statement. [172539]

Mr. Pond

The Government are committed to tackling age discrimination in employment, extending opportunities for older workers. From Spring 1997 to Spring 2003 the employment rate for those aged 50 to State Pension Age has increased from 64.5 per cent. to 70.1 per cent. We are committed to further increasing the employment rate for the over 50s by 2006.

Through Age Positive, we are promoting the business benefits of an age diverse workforce by encouraging employers to adopt the voluntary Code of Practice: Age Diversity at Work, A Practical Guide For Business, which was first developed in 1998 and updated in 2002. The Budget 2004 announced a new high profile national guidance campaign to raise employers' awareness of, and ability to adopt, flexible employment and retirement opportunities in order to increase the recruitment, training and retention of older workers.

The information is in the tables.

Proportion of non-working people between age 50 and state pension age by each decile of income distribution
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
After housing costs
Male 22 15 12 13 9 7 7 5 6 3
Female 18 13 9 13 9 9 8 7 6 7


1. Figures are for 2002–03, the latest date for which data are available.

2. Estimates are for Great Britain. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10,000, and proportions to the nearest per cent. Decile 1 is the lowest income decile.

3. Estimates relate to the status of individuals at the time they were interviewed for the FRS.

4. FRS-based estimates for both the number of people aged between 50 and state pension age, and the number of workless in this group exceed estimates sourced from the Labour Force Survey, the main source for employment statistics. The estimate of percentages should therefore be considered more robust than the estimate of numbers in this group.

5. The estimates are based on sample counts, which have been adjusted for non-response. Estimates are subject both to sampling error and to variability in non-response.

6. The income measure used is weekly net (disposable) equivalised household income (income that is adjusted to reflect the composition of the household).

7. The Households Below Average Income series presents analysis of income of two bases: Before Housing Costs (BHC) and After Housing Costs (AHC). This is principally to take into account variations in housing costs that themselves do not correspond to comparable variations in the quality of housing.

8. The Households Below Average Income series assumes that both partners in a couple receive the same income. Therefore any differences in the above between genders can be driven only by differences from single adults, which will themselves be diluted by the figures for couples.

9. Deciles nine and 10 of the tables relating to non-working single people have been combined as individually, these deciles contained too few households to provide robust estimates.


Family Resources Survey (FRS).

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