Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth

One million young people are now unemployed according to figures released today. It is the first time since records began in 1992 this figure has hit seven digits.

By Rory Weal

One million young people are now unemployed according to figures (pdf) released today. As the graph below shows, it is the first time since records began in 1992 this figure has hit seven digits. The increase highlights the enormity of the situation hitting Britain’s young people.


The figures come at a time of faltering growth and contractions in public sector employment as well as wide-sweeping government spending cuts. Public sector job cuts of 610,000, as estimated by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), are widely expected to exacerbate the situation in narrowing job opportunities for graduates and school leavers.

A report by the CIPD earlier this week warned of a “slow and painful employment contraction2 for the UK in coming months. It all paints a bleak outlook for young people’s prospects in entering the jobs market.

As a result the pressure on the government to act quickly and decisively is ratcheting up.

Yesterday, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) called on the government to:

“Call a halt to public sector job cuts while the economy and labour market remain in the current fragile condition.”

Further pressure was piled on the government from Barnardo’s chief executive Anne Marie Carrie, who said:

“Britain’s uneven playing field is causing an entire generation of the most disadvantaged teenagers to become ‘lost in transition’. Proof of this lies in the unemployment rate for 16 and 17-year-olds, which has almost doubled over the last decade.”

Carrie’s comments come alongside Barnardos’ latest report, which criticised the government in focusing primarily on young people from the age of 18 and above and ignoring the situation facing 16 and 17 year olds.

The government’s inability to address spiralling youth unemployment and failure to take robust and decisive action demonstrates either total incompetence, shocking complacency, or, most worryingly, a complete lack of interest in the issue.

The situation needs bold and decisive action to tackle what is set to blight an entire generation of young people.

A substantial investment in jobs for young people, similar to the Future Jobs Fund (which was scrapped last May), as well as a halt to the drastic and devastating public sector job cuts would go some of the way to tackle escalating youth unemployment.

And a considerable increase in the number of apprenticeships available to school leavers would equip the next generation with the skills they need to obtain work, as IPPR director Nick Pearce explained:

“Apprenticeships can help young people break out of the unemployment trap by offering additional general education, the chance to learn the ‘soft skills’ that employers often demand and specific job-related training.”

To address the narrowing of access to education, which is having a serious effect on youth unemployment rates, the government should think again about the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance and take action to bring under control spiralling public transport costs – such as the 8% average rail fare rise next year – to ensure that young people can afford to stay on in education.

Put simply, the government needs to act, and it needs to act now.

See also:

Osborne’s refusal to increase demand leaves young unemployed without hopeTony Dolphin, November 14th 2011

The devastating crisis hitting Britain’s young peopleRory Weal, November 9th 2011

Fees, cuts… Is this what Cameron means by “giving young people back their future”?Shamik Das, September 14th 2011

Right’s dodgy youth unemployment attack on minimum wageDominic Browne, April 13th 2011

OECD calls on Gove to save EMAJames Mills, April 8th 2011

48 Responses to “Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth”

  1. Craig Owen

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth: http://t.co/aRy5aagt writes @RoryWeal

  2. Vince Maple

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  3. 45apl

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  4. Noxi

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  5. SFSC

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  6. Race Equality Fdn

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  7. Rachel Finlay

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  8. Mike Gapes

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth: http://t.co/aRy5aagt writes @RoryWeal

  9. chris star

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth..
    http://t.co/TkVdQcY7
    #cuts

  10. Julian

    “The government’s inability to address spiralling youth unemployment and failure to take robust and decisive action demonstrates either total incompetence, shocking complacency, or, most worryingly, a complete lack of interest in the issue.”

    The graph in the article seems to show that the last Labour government failed to address the problems from 2001 onward, when the figure started to rise. It also shows that Labour inherited a falling figure in 1997, and that its sticking to Conservative tax and spending plans during Labour’s first term maintained the fall. Once Labour started to tax and spend, the level of unemployment started to skyrocket.

  11. Rory Weal

    My article for @leftfootfwd on youth unemployment hitting 1 million and the devestated impact it is having http://t.co/46qg9lPX

  12. Sheik74Shereef

    My article for @leftfootfwd on youth unemployment hitting 1 million and the devestated impact it is having http://t.co/46qg9lPX

  13. Citizen Pepworth

    Clearly my bifocals must be playing up because that graph shows that youth unemployment was significantly higher when Labour left office than when it came into office.
    Are we really saying that youth unemployment is only dreadful under the Tories?
    Clearly unemployment is a tragedy for all concerned but Labour suddenly becoming exercised over an issue we had failed to tackle in government sounds a little bit like grandstanding. For the record this is not an attack on the author, more on those who are seeking to use him as a conduit.

  14. Unemployment is no better for the Scottish government than for the British one | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth – Rory Weal, November 16th […]

  15. Brian Duggan

    RT @RoryWeal: My article for @leftfootfwd on youth unemployment hitting 1million and devastating impact it is having http://t.co/Ru7B1UW5

  16. Ben Folley

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth: http://t.co/aRy5aagt writes @RoryWeal

  17. NextGenerationLabour

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth: http://t.co/aStOAcr9 writes @RoryWeal

  18. Stories from the economy, or: The prospects for young people, and other grim tales | Left Foot Forward

    […] expected, the number of young unemployed people passed the million mark, reaching 1,016,000 – as Rory Weal has pointed out, this surpasses the level of the 1990s recession by some way. Almost as dreadful, […]

  19. Catch21 Productions

    On youth unemployment, check out our graph, just check out our graph: http://t.co/guyywBWR #PMQs

  20. Andy S

    On youth unemployment, check out our graph, just check out our graph: http://t.co/guyywBWR #PMQs

  21. bob woods

    One more time, that graph on youth unemployment: http://t.co/guyywBWR #PMQs

  22. Prateek Buch

    majority of rise came under Labour, continues 2day RT @leftfootfwd: One more time, graph on youth unemployment: http://t.co/NPIpeP9U #PMQs

  23. bapesaurus

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  24. Rachel Megan Barker

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  25. Nicola Jones

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  26. Alex Braithwaite

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  27. Chandler Western

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting … – Left Foot Forward http://t.co/SkcH3msl

  28. paulstpancras

    .@RachelReevesMP grilling Danny Alexander on youth unemployment – here's the shocking story (incl graph) frm @RoryWeal: http://t.co/guyywBWR

  29. Jennir

    .@RachelReevesMP grilling Danny Alexander on youth unemployment – here's the shocking story (incl graph) frm @RoryWeal: http://t.co/guyywBWR

  30. Martin McIvor

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  31. Rory Weal

    .@RachelReevesMP grilling Danny Alexander on youth unemployment – here's the shocking story (incl graph) frm @RoryWeal: http://t.co/guyywBWR

  32. Jobs market hit by “the double whammy of falling business and consumer confidence” | Left Foot Forward

    […] Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth – Rory Weal, November 16th […]

  33. Cllr Mark Ashberry

    How a generation is being abandoned to youth unemployment: http://t.co/V8bfYPMd by @roryweal #pmqs

  34. Susan Nash

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  35. Geoff Walker

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  36. Kris Voakes

    RT @leftfootfwd: How a generation is being abandoned to youth unemployment: http://t.co/lfNqSnFX by @roryweal #pmqs

  37. Rory Weal

    How a generation is being abandoned to youth unemployment: http://t.co/V8bfYPMd by @roryweal #pmqs

  38. Renie Anjeh

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  39. PCS DWP North Staffs

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  40. Unemployment: How Cameron and Clegg are letting the next generation down | Left Foot Forward

    […] has taken youth unemployment crossing over the one million threshold for this out-of-touch government to take any action. They are finally […]

  41. Shamik Das

    Gd point frm @RoryWeal on youth unemployment at @YoungFabians session. Here's his article on yth un hitting 1m: http://t.co/NFV2k7vZ #Fab12

  42. Laura

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  43. keith ferguson

    Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth | Left Foot Forward – http://t.co/LSdSXEVS

  44. Rory Weal

    .@RoryWeal wrote on youth unemployment, and despite Cameron's spin on the measurement, nothing's changed: http://t.co/guyywBWR #PMQs

  45. David Miliband is spot on in highlighting the structural roots of youth unemployment | Left Foot Forward

    […] deeper, structural problems in the nature of the education system and the labour market that mean youth unemployment has not fallen below half a million since the […]

  46. Budget 2012: Young people weren’t expecting much, and got even less | Left Foot Forward

    […] Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth 16 Nov […]

  47. NIESR: Weak demand is leading to permanently higher unemployment | Left Foot Forward

    […] Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth 16 Nov […]

  48. The government is stalling youth employment by downsizing career advice | Left Foot Forward

    […] Million young unemployed figure highlights enormity of the situation hitting our youth 16 Nov […]

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