From the TUC

Highest youth unemployment “since records began” or not as the case might be

23 Dec 2009, by in Labour market, Politics

The BBC had an excellent report on the Today programme this morning (7:20) on youth homelessness at Christmas, but reporter Tamasin Ford said once again that we are currently suffering the highest youth unemployment “since records began” in 1992 “nearly twenty years ago”.

Youth unemployment is high. As usual young people are the biggest victims of economic downturn as employers stop recruiting and target the less experienced for redundancy. The TUC regularly describes it as a national emergency.

But records did not begin in 1992. It is true that the current set of statistics started in 1992, but reliable data goes back to 1984 as Nicola has shown.

1984 was three years after the end of the 1980s recession but then:

more than a quarter (26 per cent) of 16-24 year olds were not in full-time education and either unemployed or economically inactive – some 2.1 million young people not in work or training.

It is the interests of opposition parties to attack the government over this. And no-one should use the 1980s experience to suggest that today’s figures are tolerable.

But the BBC needs to be more careful.

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