Youth unemployment is at a record high with over one million 16-24 year olds unemployed. Although this is as a result of the recession, youth unemployment was also rising before the current downturn started.
TUC analysis published today shows that there has been a huge increase in long-term youth unemployment since 2000. In the last 12 years, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds who are out of work has risen by 78 per cent, while unemployment has increased overall by 42 per cent.
Even more striking is the number of young people who have been unemployed for more than a year. Since 2000 this has increased by 874 per cent (from 6,260 to 60,955), going up by 264 per cent in the last year alone. In comparison, on average across all working age groups, long-term unemployment has risen by 50 per cent since 2000. So it is clearly evident that young people have been hit hard in the labour market.
Rise in Long Term Unemployment 2010-2011
Source -ONS Nomis
The number of young people who have been unable to find work for between six months and a year has risen by 152 per cent since 2000, from 46,610 to 117,680, and the number of 18 to 24-year-olds without work for up to six months has grown by more than a third (37 per cent) from 210,195 to 288,760.
The TUC analysis also reveals that over the same time period the average wages of young people have fallen in real terms while they have grown for everyone else.
Since 2000, inflation has risen by 38 per cent and average wages have kept pace with this, going up by 41 per cent. However on average while those aged 30 and above have benefited from above inflation pay rises, workers aged 29 and under have once again lost out.
Those aged between 18 and 21 have only received 35 per cent rises, with those aged 22 to 29 faring even worse with pay increases of 28 per cent – some 10 per cent behind inflation. The median hourly wage for workers in this age group in 2011 was £9.52 an hour.
Nominal Wage Change by Age Group 2000-2011
Source - Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2011
To download full data in the release
The combination of increasing unemployment and long term unemployment, higher tuition fees, and falling wages; and with a recovery yet to materialise, prospects are looking bleak for young people.
Recent Research by the TUC has demonstrated the scarring impacts that long periods of unemployment can have on young people’s future lives.
The TUC is holding a Tackling Youth Unemployment seminar on Wednesday 4 July from 2.30–4pm at TUC Congress House. The seminar features David Miliband (MP) as part of a panel of expert speakers which also includes Shiv Malik (Journalist and co-author of Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth). The event will be chaired by TUC President Paul Kenny and further speakers are to be announced.
This TUC seminar will focus upon both policy and practical solutions, bringing together expert contributors to reflect on young people’s prospects now and in the future.