Young People are Paying the Price of Slow Growth
Youth unemployment remains stubbornly high as shown by the latest employment figures for the last three month.
A quarter (24.6%) of those aged 16 and 17 years old are unemployed and not in education, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Ten percent of all 18 to 24 year olds are registered unemployed, a figure that has changed little since the start of 2017 despite government ministers talking up the economic recovery.
Overall, the youth unemployment rate is more than four times the adult unemployment rate, highlighting that young talent is facing significantly higher barriers when trying to enter the world of work.
There are half a million (555,000) young people aged 18 to 24 who are economically inactive and not in full time education. That represents a huge amount of wasted talent that Britain needs to compete in the post-Brexit world.
The UK has a higher youth unemployment rate when compared with countries like Japan, the US and Germany, although it is lower than France and Spain.
CLASS director Dr Faiza Shaheen said:
“Headline employment figures mask considerable problems in the labour market, including precarious work, regional and youth inequalities. The government must not confuse high employment with growing equality or a well-functioning economy.”
Last month, young jobseeker Ella Gannon told us about organisations she had encountered where the vast majority of ‘staff’ were untrained interns.
She said: “As a young person it’s getting harder and harder to say no under-paid positions. An unbelievable amount of under-25s have never had a job that lasts longer than 6-18 months. We are an age group that relies disproportionately on zero hour contracts. Under these conditions internship salaries begin to seen as acceptable.”
Watch her video here:
While millennials are suffering, real wages continue to stagnate or even fall in some sectors, for workers as a whole.
Average weekly wages have risen a measly 0.2% in the past year, far below the spiralling cost of living, and has actually fallen in hospitality (-0.6%) and the service industries (-0.8%).
Earlier this year, CLASS carried out a survey of 2,000 workers which found 20% of working households having taken on a second job to make ends meet, and a further 20% who are seriously considering it.
The study also found alarming levels of worker stress across many sectors due to mounting personal debt and longer hours with less pay.