Youth struggle to find employment despite promising statistics

Youth unemployment has a hit a record low since the 2008 financial crisis, however 16-24 year olds still find themselves struggling to gain full-time work, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

On 17th June the ONS released its figures covering UK unemployment levels for between February and April of this year.

Nearly half a million (475,000) 16-24 year olds were classed as unemployed, 1,000 fewer than before the financial crash in 2008.

Compared to the rest of the working age group, Britain’s young workforce isn’t faring so well.

The ONS confirmed that 16% of 16-24 year olds are unemployed, compared to the national unemployment rate of 5.7%.

‘‘Although today’s improvements are welcome, there is still a long way to go for youth unemployment and underemployment,’’ commented Frances O’Grady, secretary general of the TUC.

‘‘Real wage growth remains too reliant on low inflation, and even if prices remain exceptionally low we are facing a lost decade on pay growth.’’

In reality youth unemployment is actually higher than the statistics show, if 16 to 24-year-olds who are looking for work while in education are considered, according to Stephen Timms, Labour’s Acting Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary.

‘‘The fall in overall unemployment is welcome, but with more than 740,000 young people unemployed it’s clear the government needs to do far more to give young people the chance to earn a living’’

‘‘Last year the number of under 25-year-olds starting an apprenticeship fell. It’s time for ministers to give young people the world-class apprenticeships and training they need to succeed in life,’’ Timms concluded.