A ‘sandwich generation’ aged between 35 and 50 is footing the bill for inactivity among older and younger people who drop out the workforce, the Bank of England‘s former chief economist has said.

Andy Haldane said they were paying the price for a surge in economic inactivity – those neither in employment nor looking for work – much of it caused by a dramatic rise in long-term sickness.

‘Right now we’ve got pressures among the young and pressures among the old, and that’s putting pressure on those in the middle,’ Mr Haldane told the Daily Telegraph.

He said it meant 35 to 50 year olds were having to shoulder a greater burden of taxes as well as taking on more caring responsibilities.

‘The sandwich generation are footing the bill of supporting both the young and the old in financial and non-financial terms,’ Mr Haldane added.

Andy Haldane (pictured) said they were paying the price for a surge in economic inactivity – those neither in employment nor looking for work – much of it caused by a dramatic rise in long-term sickness

Andy Haldane (pictured) said they were paying the price for a surge in economic inactivity – those neither in employment nor looking for work – much of it caused by a dramatic rise in long-term sickness

Andy Haldane (pictured) said they were paying the price for a surge in economic inactivity – those neither in employment nor looking for work – much of it caused by a dramatic rise in long-term sickness

His comments come as officials grapple with the challenge of bringing people back to the workforce after an exodus during the pandemic.

The UK is one of a handful of advanced economies where the proportion of the working population in employment remains below pre-Covid levels as a result of higher economic inactivity rates.

Figures last week showed the number of people classed as economically inactive stood at 8.8million or just over a fifth of the working age population.

Much of that was due to a surge in long-term sickness, which increased by 462,000 between 2019 and 2022, partly driven by the large number of so-called ‘baby boomers’ approaching retirement.

Long-term sickness numbers have been hitting record levels over recent months, reaching 2.6million in the three months to July.

Increases in economic inactivity early in the pandemic were largely driven by those aged 16 to 24 while more recently this has been higher among those aged 50 to 64.

Apart from sickness, reasons given for economic inactivity can include taking early retirement or being a ‘discouraged worker’ – someone not looking for work because they believe none is available.

Earlier this month he told Sky News that the Bank had made regrettable mistakes that fuelled inflation – printing money through its programme of quantitative easing for longer than was needed

Earlier this month he told Sky News that the Bank had made regrettable mistakes that fuelled inflation – printing money through its programme of quantitative easing for longer than was needed

Earlier this month he told Sky News that the Bank had made regrettable mistakes that fuelled inflation – printing money through its programme of quantitative easing for longer than was needed

Mr Haldane voiced concerns about those young people increasingly seeking help for mental health conditions and unable to work.

‘We know that health and inactivity problems are very persistent,’ he said.

‘If you drift into ill health, or if you drift into unemployment inactivity at an early age, it hugely increases the chances of you facing this problem throughout your life.’ 

Mr Haldane became known for his eye-catching insights into economic trends both during and after his spell at the Bank of England.

Earlier this month he told Sky News that the Bank had made regrettable mistakes that fuelled inflation – printing money through its programme of quantitative easing for longer than was needed.

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

You May Also Like

Porsche recalls its £70,000 Taycan electric sports car over sudden power loss

Luxury vehicle manufacturer Porsche has issued a recall for thousands of its…

Thousands of families could have tax credits stopped in days if they don’t act NOW

THOUSANDS of working families have only five days left to renew their…

UK house prices rise at fastest pace since 2007 but boom predicted to end

Halifax says price of average home hit record of £276,091 in December,…

Pound on retreat as Britain heads for double-dip recession

Sterling fell yesterday as the third national lockdown triggered the largest decline…