Unemployment three times higher for young people 

Nov 16, 2021

Our Director of Impact and Evidence, Chris Goulden, responds to today’s labour market statistics.

“Today’s ONS job stats indicate a strong recovery as employment increases by 88,000 for the under-25s. While this is welcome news, young people are still at the back of the queue for jobs. Unemployment remains three times higher for young people than for other age groups. 

“Long-term youth unemployment is stubbornly high at 167,000, and there are still too many 16-17- year-olds not in full-time education and not working. 

“There are stark regional differences too. London, Yorkshire and Humber and the North East have the highest levels of unemployed 18-24-year-olds. Whereas young people in the North West, South West and East of England are faring better, with higher rates of employment.  







“There is a rise in the number of young people in insecure work on zero hours contracts, making progression and financial stability harder to achieve. This will have the greatest impact on those from marginalised backgrounds already facing greater disadvantage following the pandemic.  

“Our recent report found that there is a risk of generational progress grinding to a halt without sustained government support. It recommends the government should create new ‘green and clean’ job opportunities for young people through its ‘Levelling Up’ and ‘Net Zero Transition’ investments. Also, skills provision must be more closely matched to local labour market needs, with regional economic areas given more powers to design and shape their local provision.” 

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