Unemployed young people are much less likely to be long-term unemployed than those aged 25 or over.
This month’s labour market figures show the continuing strengthening of the UK labour market, as unemployment once again falls. This improvement has been experienced by all age groups, including those aged 16-24, although the unemployment rate of this groups remains above average, at 3.2 per cent across the UKs 64 largest cities compared to 2.5 per cent for all workers.
The high level of youth unemployment means this age group receive a lot of attention in the media, but looking at long–term (one year plus) unemployment shows that unemployed young people are actually much less likely to be long-term unemployed than those aged 25 or over.
Table 1 shows the 10 cities with the highest long-term youth unemployment and the corresponding long-term unemployment for those aged 25 plus. In all cities the proportion of claimants aged 25 plus that are long-term unemployed is much higher than the proportion of young people long-term unemployed. For example, in Warrington (the city with the highest youth long-term unemployment) a quarter of unemployed young people are long-term unemployed but nearly 35 per cent of unemployed people aged 25 and over have been unemployed for a year or more.
This is not to say that polices focusing on young people aren’t important, especially given the long-term negative wage impacts that have been found to follow young people who experience unemployment, but it does highlight the importance of polices to focuses on older aged workers as well as young people. This is especially true in cities that have low youth unemployment, such as Reading and Southampton (at 1.0 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively), where limited resource are likely to have more impact on the local labour market if focused on those aged 25 and over.
Find the latest city-by-city labour market data below:
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