Population ageing has intensified the need to maximise employment rates among those aged 50-69, yet the perspective of midlife men and women themselves concerning employment and retirement, and how these may shift in response to policy trends, is little understood. The research analyses attitudes to employment among British midlife men and women, focussing on changes during the 1990s. Data from the British sample of two cross-sectional surveys of the International Social Survey Programme, 1989 and 1997, that provide information on work orientations, are used to measure differences between two cohorts in the same age groups. Where there were differences between the two cohorts, some indicated less positive orientation towards employment. Thus the perceived importance of work declined significantly across the 1990s. However, the later cohort showed a slightly less instrumental attitude to work than the earlier, explained by their longer education. Those who were employed were more likely to show work commitment, valuing a job irrespective of financial need, compared with those who were not employed. Among employed men, those in the later cohort were less likely to think their job was secure or their pay high, compared with the earlier cohort.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Pier Professional
Published: Jul 1, 2005