One million young people without a job

Tim Wallace
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UNEMPLOYMENT jumped in the three months to September with more 16 to 24 year olds now looking for work than at any time since 1987, according to figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics.

Youth unemployment hit 1.016m, higher than at any point under the current measuring system, which began in 1992 – although 286,000 job-hunting students were included in the figures. Using a slightly different scale, this is the highest level since the mid-1980s.

At 20.1 per cent, September saw the highest ever proportion of 16 to 24 year olds looking for work.

Total unemployment rose to 2.622m, up 129,000 on the previous quarter. Joblessness rose 172,000 on the same three months of 2010.

Employment fell 192,000 on the previous quarter and 109,000 on the previous year to 29.069m. In the private sector, employment in June was up 41,000 from March, yet 111,000 government sector jobs were lost over the same period.

Part-time workers were hit harder than full-timers. Numbers working part-time fell by 117,000 in the three months to September, or 1.5 per cent, quarter on quarter, whilst full-time jobs fell by 80,000, or 0.4 per cent.

Average weekly wages rose 1.9 per cent in the year to September – well below the rate of consumer price inflation, which hit 5.2 per cent over the same 12-month period.