The Direct Selling Association (DSA), the trade body that represents the UK’s major direct selling companies including Avon, Kleeneze and Betterware, reports a 29% increase in the number of sellers in the older age group, forced to find new opportunities to earn money as a result of the recession and worries about their pensions.
It says the trend represents a major new demographic within the industry, whose core direct sellers are predominantly working mothers looking to fit flexible earnings around family commitments.
The direct selling market is worth Â£2bn annually to the UK economy and is the largest provider of part-time earning opportunities, with more than 400,000 people involved in the industry.
The DSA said 120,000 of those were now people aged above 50, compared with 93,000 in 2009/10.
“Recent statistics have shown that unemployment is falling, but over-50s are struggling to get back into work, with 44% of unemployed over-50s having been out of work for over a year,” said Paul Southworth, director general of the DSA.
“From what our member companies tell us, many in the plus-50 age bracket enjoy the social side of direct selling, which allows them to continue to work and network with a variety of people.”
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