Only one in six Poles over the age 60 works - analysts

In 2020, only 17.7 percent of Poles above the age of 60 were working, analysts at the Polish Economic Institute have reported.

The institute (PIE) said an improvement in the general and professional activeness of senior citizens would be possible if, on the one hand, they changed their habits and, on the other, common stereotypes about older people were eradicated.

PIE analysts prepared a report entitled 'Behaviourally about the policy of activating senior citizens' and a policy paper: 'The silvering economy. How to free the potential of senior citizens?'

According to the documents, among the basic barriers hampering the economic activity of older people are those related to social exclusion, including those in transport, digital and health areas. Structural barriers are accompanied by behavioural limitations which hamper the maintenance of older people's economic activity.

PIE's head of behavioural economics, Agnieszka Wincewicz, believes an improvement in the policy towards senior citizens is noticeable but too slow.

"We still lack the local perspective and more effective engagement of NGOs in the process of activating senior citizens," she said, adding that "senior citizens' oganisations lack trained and competent leaders, and motivation to undertake non-standard initiatives..."

According to Eurostat data, between 2005 and 2019, employment of 55-64-year-olds in the EU grew from 40 percent to 59 percent. Also in Poland, an increase was recorded over this period, from 27 percent to about 50 percent. However, PIE research shows that while 39 percent of people in the 60-64 age group work, in the case of people aged 65 and over, the figure dropped to only 6 percent.

PIE research shows that the level of 'digitalisation' among Polish senior citizens is relatively high with 73 percent of people over 60 using a smartphone and 70 percent using a laptop or desktop computer. Only 8 percent of senior citizens do not use any digital devices.