The latest ONS data shows the employment rate at was 75.5%, little changed compared with April to June 2018 but higher than for a year earlier (75.0%) The data available covers the period between July 2018 to September 2018.
The data shows that, April to June 2018 and July to September 2018, the number of people in work and the number of unemployed people both increased but the number of people aged from 16 to 64 years not working and not seeking nor available to work (economically inactive) was little changed.
We take a look at the headlines and the youth unemployment figures in more detail:
- There were 32.41 million people in work, 23,000 more compared with April to June 2018 and 350,000 more than for a year earlier.
- The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.5%, little changed compared with April to June 2018 but higher than for a year earlier (75.0%).
- There were 1.38 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 21,000 more than for April to June 2018 but 43,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
- The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.1%, slightly higher than for April to June 2018 but lower than for a year earlier (4.3%).
- There were 8.74 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking nor available to work), little changed compared with April to June 2018 but 147,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
- The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, unchanged compared with April to June 2018 but lower than for a year earlier (21.6%).
- Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 3.2% excluding bonuses, and by 3.0% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT FIGURES
Within this data set young people are defined as those aged 16 – 24. Young people in full-time education are included in the employment estimates if they have a part-time job and are included in the unemployment estimates if they are seeking part time work.
For people aged from 16 to 24 years, between July to September 2017 and July to September 2018:
- the number of people in employment fell by 15,000 to 3.81 million
- the number of unemployed people fell by 41,000 to 476,000
- the number of economically inactive people fell by 36,000 to 2.71 million (most of whom were full-time students)
For July to September 2018, the unemployment rate for those aged from 16 to 24 years was 11.1%, lower than for a year earlier (11.9%). The unemployment rate for those aged from 16 to 24 years has been consistently higher than that for older age groups since comparable records began in 1992.
- the lowest youth unemployment rate was 11.6% for March to May 2001
- the highest youth unemployment rate was 22.5% for late 2011
What The Data Doesn’t Tell Us
ONS Data is compiled from the Labour Force Survey, whilst it is the most comprehensive of it’s kind it doesn’t tell the full story. For some time ourselves and others in the sector have been raising concerns about the young people hidden from this data. The definitions set out in the survey make it difficult for us to know the real movement of young people into work or through work programmes. There is growing concern that young people are not engaging with services like JobCentre Plus and therefore are not included in estimates and figures. If we can’t include these young people in the figures and they are unaware or unwilling to engage how can we make sure all young people get access to good quality support and opportunities?
Impetus PEF have explored the subject in detail and most recently London Youth have highlighted the issues in their Hidden in Plain Sight report. Whilst we celebrate record levels we have to question why youth unemployment numbers have moved half a percentage point in a year, we have worked together with a group of organisations to pull together a guide for working with marginalised young people.
- Find out more about the work we do here
- Find out how we support organisations to be more youth friendly and how we recognise their efforts here
- No matter what the future holds young people need skills, read more about our free Young Professional Membership here