MORE older people are still in work in the Chichester area than anywhere else across the country.
And the above average figures of 2014 year have seen them rise ever higher in the latest statistics.
Figures newly released by the Department for Work and Pensions show that the number of people aged between 50-64 still working in the Chichester area has risen by a hefty 2,500 in the past year.
The latest government statistics show that an employment rate of 75.1 per cent in the year to September 2015 compared with a rate of 74.3 per cent for the previous year.
This Chichester figure is a higher employment rate for 50-64 year olds than for the UK as a whole, which stands at 70.1 per cent.
And it is also higher than the average of 73.3 per cent for the South East.
Minister for Pensions, Baroness Altmann said more employers in the Chichester area seemed to be recognising the benefits to their business of hiring and retaining their older workers.
But part of the reason could hinge on the fact that women born in 1953 and 1954 may need to work longer as their state pensions are not paid out until they are in their late 60s.
“It is great news that there are more older people in employment in Chichester,” said Baroness Altmann.
“It shows that people who want to work longer are able to and that employers are waking up to the experience and skills that older workers bring.
“But we still have a long way to go.
“It is vital that we continue to harness the potential of older workers.
She added: “Allowing all employees and new applicants to be considered on their merits is vital, especially given the demographic challenges that our economy faces.
“I hope more employers will recognise the positive value to their business of recruiting and training older staff, as well as considering the benefits of flexible working.”
She said action taken for older workers by the government in recent years included extending the right to request flexible working for all and outlawing forced retirement at 65.
Older claimant champions have been introduced across the country, as well as a number of pilots to support older people into work by helping them to build their confidence and skills.
The latest labour market figures produced for February showed that for workers aged 50-64, the UK employment rate has reached a record high of 70.1 per cent, up from 69 per cent last year.
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