Youth miss out as the labour market ‘improves’

Once again UK unemployment is recorded as falling. Now down to 7.7% from 7.8%. The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 is 71.6%, up 0.2 percentage points from February to April 2013 and up 0.4 from a year earlier. There are now 29.84 million people in employment. (Though with estimates for ‘zero hours’ contracts increasingly all the time; the total in ‘employment’ does not necessary equal the number ‘working’! )

The official ONS figures point to a worsening in the position of young people however

• There are 3.60 million 16 to 24 year olds in employment, down 77,000 from February to April  2013.

• There are 2.66 million economically inactive 16 to 24 year olds (75% of whom are in full-time education), up 53,000 from February to April 2013.

• There are  960,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds, up 9,000 from February to April 2013.

The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 21.0% for May to July 2013, up 0.5 per cent. But it’s the figures for the 18-24 age group that provide a more accurate picture. These show there are 72 000 less working and 40 000 more economically inactive. Of the 18-24 year olds not in full-time education, 1.16 million are now not working.  This figure is not the same as NEETs, as it includes part-time students and those not able to work; but it  shows almost 1 in 3 of this category not in the workplace.

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