Over-50s have been hit by the biggest annual fall in employment since the 1980s as a result of the pandemic.
A study by the Resolution Foundation found that while under-25s have been by far the worst affected by the hit to jobs caused by the pandemic, the cost of being laid off can be particularly high for older workers.
Nye Cominetti, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has had a U-shaped effect on people’s employment prospects.
“While the youngest workers have been hardest hit by the crisis, older workers have also been badly affected, experiencing the biggest annual fall in employment since at least the 1980s.
“The cost of unemployment for older workers is particularly high.
“They take the longest to return to work – with fewer than two-in-three returning within six months – and experience the biggest earnings fall when they finally to return to work.
“In the face of the current crisis, unemployed older workers may have to either work for longer to make up for these negative employment effects, or retire earlier than they planned to.
“The government must ensure that older workers are not forgotten in the design and implementation of schemes created in the wake of the crisis to help people back into work.”