Aug 9, 2022

John Lewis boss: I've never seen the economy like this

Dame Sharon White urged the future government to encourage people, mostly aged in their 50s, to return to work after retiring during the pandemic. "Regardless of what has happened coming out of Covid, if the labour market is that tight, if we continue to have far fewer people in work, looking for work - you've inevitably got more inflation and more wage inflation," the John Lewis chair said. The ONS has previously reported the number of "economically inactive" people - those without a job and not seeking to work - has remained higher than before Covid struck, with retiring being the most popular reason for people aged between 50 and 70 years stating their reason for not working. Dame Sharon said she had "never" seen "such a combination of some very difficult factors" impacting the economy during her working career, which has also included a stint as boss of Ofcom. Dame Sharon said introducing flexible retirement plans for people and skills courses for older workers to retrain for different jobs could help encourage people back into work.

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