Geography and older workers labour market transitions

Philip Li, Department for Work and Pensions

[Project number 20084]

The study is to contribute to increasing understanding of the mechanisms by which regional and sub-regional variations in the employment rate of older workers arise and are sustained. It remains the case that the employment rates of over 50s are lower relative to 25-49 year olds in a number of areas associated with structural decline in the 1980s. A contributory factor may be the occupational and geographical mobility of younger workers, possibly associated with life events. We want to investigate trends in occupational and geographical mobility between each successive pair of censuses since 1971.

We have explored other sources: the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a cross-sectional survey, DWP administrative data is limited to benefits data, and the longitudinal LFS drops households that have moved so it also does not provide geographical mobility data.

The LS will provide data on labour mobility and changes in economic activity (i.e. whether employed, unemployed or inactive, and if available by type of inactivity) for both sexes and different age groups (by 5 year age bands between ages 20 to 69). We require data at regional level, sub-regional level (e.g. South Wales, big cities) and local authority district level.

We want to be able to distinguish between the mobility of people of different background, based on health status, social class, tenure type, occupation and life events such as the birth of a child.