Youth unemployment falls: but less are working

The 49 000 fall in unemployment for the Q3 2012, taking the figure down to 7.8% has been attributed to the fall in youth unemployment (

The monthly ONS figures do indeed show a 49 000 fall in the number of 16-24 year olds unemployed –now down below the one million figure, the first time for over a year. This figure is counterbalanced by a 12 000 fall in the overall size of the cohort but, more significantly, a 40 000 rise in the total number ‘economically inactive.’ There are in fact 4000 LESS  16-24 year olds in employment.

The key factor behind these ambiguities however, is a 50 000 rise in the number of full-time students now up to almost 3.1 million. Obviously this includes large numbers of 16-17 year olds, yet only 57% of 18-24 year olds are shown to be in employment, (3.33 million)  a 2% fall compared with two years ago.  594 000 of these are also students working part time.

Alarmingly, the figures show a continued increase in ‘long term-hard core’ young unemployment with the number of 18-24 year olds who have been claiming JSA for over a year now almost 1 in 5 of  435 000 claimants.


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