'Sandwich generation' of 35 to 50-year-olds are footing the bill for those who don't work, the Bank of England's former chief economist says

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.

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.

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.

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Source of data and images: dailymail

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