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On point paper

The Great Retirement or the Great Sickness? Understanding the rise in economic inactivity

Health Pensions & benefits Economy
Dr Jonathan Pearson-Stuttard Partner & Head of Health Analytics
Sara Holloway Senior Consultant

In his 2022 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor highlighted an increase of 630,000 since the start of the pandemic in the number of people of working age who are ‘economically inactive’. Various explanations have been put forward for this trend, with some dubbing it a ‘Great Retirement’ and most discussion focusing on getting the over 50s ‘back to work’.

With the forthcoming Budget expected to come up with a range of initiatives to tackle this problem, this paper looks at the data on what has been happening in the labour market, in the benefits system and in the NHS to see if we can better understand the problem and identify where any interventions are likely to be most effective.

Read the paper