Youth unemployment hits record high : Labour Market Overview

The ONS have released the latest Labour Market Overview, Data covers the July to September. The numbers show record high youth unemployment and a surge in redundancy figures.

Today’s data set shows a continued rise in unemployment across all ages. Unemployment rose to 4.8% in the UK with record redundancy figures.

The number of young people in work as seen a drastic fall, the number of 16 – 24 year olds in employment has fallen by 174,000 to a record low of 3.5 Million.

The headlines:

  • The employment rate has fallen to 75.3%, 0.8 percentage points lower than a year earlier and 0.6 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.
  • The unemployment rate has risen to 4.8%, 0.9 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.
  • Redundancies reached a record high of 314,000; an increase of a record 181,000 on the quarter.

Additional data

The labour market survey is able to provide additional data for the month of October

  • In October 2020, 33,000 fewer people were in payrolled employment when compared with September 2020 and 782,000 fewer people were in payrolled employment when compared with March 2020.
  • The Claimant Count dropped slightly in October 2020, to 2.6 million; this includes both those working with low income or hours and those who are not working.

Youth Unemployment

  • The Youth Unemployment rate for 16 – 24 rose to 14.6%
  • The number of unemployed 16 – 24 year olds rose to 602,000 (up from 581,000 in the last release)
  • The number of young people in work has also dramatically fallen to 3,518,000 from 3,537,000
  • The employment rate for young people is 51.3%

Our views

“Today’s Labour Market Overview shows dramatic changes to the unemployment rate for young people and the number of young people in work.

The youth unemployment rate is 3 times the UK unemployment rate, we have to step in for this generation of young people.

We must start creating a range of quality opportunities for young people and really deliver the Opportunity Guarantee announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year”. 

Laura-Jane Rawlings, CEO, Youth Employment UK

Our role as co-founders of the Youth Employment Group is to support a sector wide, cohesive response to the growing youth employment crises. We are watching the numbers closely but also talking to our network of young people about how they are navigating these extraordinary times. We know that some young people now feel their options are limited and we are seeing growing indicators that some young people will stay in education or training longer than perhaps initially planned. It is vital that we are investing in creating good quality jobs and training opportunities that suit young people and the changing labour market needs.

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