You could be forgiven for thinking that the UK employment market is a disaster judging by mounting job losses and workplace closures announced over the last year or so. Even recent figures published are being treated with scepticism, with many commentators seeing them as merely a blip on an otherwise upward trend. Other than the headline job cuts, it is entirely possible that employment has stabilised partly through companies holding on to staff during the bad times in the expectation that things will get better.
However, in a large number of cases, the payoff for remaining in employment has been reduced hours and pay freezes, if not pay cuts. Even more worryingly, given the impending pensions crisis and the fact that most people will have to work well past the age at which their parents retired, is the dramatic rise in the number of over 50s out of work; 30% more over 50s were out of work by the end of 2009 compared to a year previously, while the number of over 50s out of work for between six and twelve months had risen by 126%.