A huge number of older people appears not to have returned to work since the early, most stringent COVID restrictions were relaxed. Over 500,00 over-50s are now either out of work, not seeking jobs or unavailable for employment compared with the number before the pandemic. So said Darren Morgan, head of economic statistics at ONS in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme (18 January at 0719). This was despite the fact that the total number of people on payrolls was “now well above pre-pandemic levels”.

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