Chris Goulden, our Director of Impact and Evidence, commented:
“The Office for National Statistics (ONS) job stats released today (15 June 2021) show positive signs that employment rates are improving, but young people still risk being left behind.
“Since February 2020, the largest falls in employment were in the hospitality sector, among young people and in London. While these three groups have also seen the largest monthly increases, they remain well below pre-pandemic levels.
“Among 18-24 year olds not in full-time education, there is a rise in employment to 76.4%, the highest seen since January 2020. For 16-17 year olds not in full-time education, only 36% are employed, which is still higher than a year ago.
“The trend of long-term youth unemployment continues and this will have a scarring impact on young people and the economy. Around 250,000 young people have been out of work for over six months.
“There is an unfairness in who is benefitting from the uptick in the economy. The number of 50-64 year old employees is up 180,000 on a year earlier, but for the under-24s the numbers lag behind pre-pandemic levels.
“We cannot leave young unemployed people at the back of the queue as the economy opens up, benefiting more experienced workers. The government needs to act on its promise of levelling up with a meaningful Opportunity Guarantee.”