Unemployment Statistics (Over-50s)

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 20th July 2004.

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Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions), Work & Pensions, People With Disabilities, Non-Departmental & Cross-Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of people between the age of 50 and state pension age who are not working are claiming benefit, broken down by gender; how many of these rely on benefits to make up more than half of their income, broken down by gender; how much is being spent on benefits for this group; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

The estimated expenditure on incapacity related benefits, Jobseekers Allowance, other income-related benefits and disability or carer benefits for claimants aged 50 to state pension age is estimated to be £11.6 billion in 2003–04. Total expenditure on all claimants aged 50 to state pension age in 2003–04 is estimated to be £12.5 billion.

In 2001–02, the latest year for which information is available, benefits made up over half of individual income for 82 per cent. of men and 89 per cent. of women, overall 84 per cent. of people, aged 50 to state pension age receiving any benefit other than those with just Child Benefit or Winter Fuel Payment 1 and not working.

The available information on the number of people aged 50 to state pension age claiming benefits, and the number in this age group who are not in work is in the table.

1 Individual incomes data 2001–02. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit are not considered as benefit income or part of total income.

People aged 50 to State pension age claiming key benefits and estimated numbers not in work
Men Women All
People claiming key benefits other than Disability Living Allowance November 2003(6) 1,015,600 545,500 1,561,100
As above but excluding cases identified as in work or Income Support cases in residential care 1,002,100 533,800 1,535,900
Estimated number of individuals in private households not in work autumn/winter 2003 1,410,000 1,231,000 2,641,000

(6) Figures include people claiming Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance.


Number of people claiming benefits—5 per cent. sample of administrative data. Estimated numbers not in work—Labour Force Survey.

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