‘Madonna generation’ of women over 50 buck the recession trend

18 Apr

Women over 50 and men and women aged 65 and over are the only age groups to have bucked the recession – in a trend that is being dubbed the ‘Madonna generation’.

The latest Work Audit from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Age, gender and the jobs recession shows that women aged 50-64 and people aged 65–plus have registered an increase in both the number in work and employment rates since the start of the jobs recession and have also registered the smallest increases in unemployment.

Much of this increase is due to a rise of 16.3% in the number of women who are self-employed. The number of women working full-time as employees has fallen by 220,000 (3%), partly offset by a small rise in part-time employment (up 44,000 or 0.9%).

What’s also interesting is the type of jobs that women are now doing. More women are doing  managerial, professional and technical jobs, “but have done much less well in traditionally feminised occupations”, according to the CIPD. The number of women in administrative, secretarial, sales and customer services roles has fallen by almost 400,000 since the start of the recession.

Dr John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD, said: “With the modern generation of 50-something women more likely to view Madonna than Grandma Grey as a role model, the economically active older woman is well on course to be ever more prominent in British workplaces in the coming years.”


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