Youth Unemployment Crisis

The economic impact of the COVID-19 measures has not been experienced equally. The heaviest burden has fallen amongst young people both for current and soon to be job-seekers.

According to the Resolution Thinktank, one-third of employees aged 18-24 lost their jobs or were furloughed within the first three months of the pandemic. For recent job seekers, there is a dearth of jobs and especially entry level jobs. This is even more true for traditional sectors of youth employment such as hospitality and leisure. For current students and apprentices, there are concerns that their education has been impacted by school closures and their qualifications potentially devalued by changes to assessment systems. This is especially true for disadvantaged young people who are more likely to lack pre-existing social networks that can to a degree replace exam qualifications when looking for a job and who can less likely stay in further education while waiting for the job market to change.

There is a very high risk of economic scarring arising from this challenge which will be more pronounced than that seen in previous economic downturns. The very jobs that are the most likely to employ young people, and those most likely to employ those without a university degree, are the most affected and will most likely be the last to return to work.




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