Unemployed under-30s – is it getting worse?

Are you Quarter Life Jobless?

Struggling to find a job? Stuck sending off CVs en masse to uninterested corporate bigwigs? Well, at least you’re not alone. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that unemployment has been shooting up since 2002 – and people in their 20s are a big part of it.




You can see the full results here. There are very clear trends to observe here that won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s spent a good afternoon browsing job sites and weeping copiously.

For another view on it, here the figures are stacked on top of each other to make a sort of depressing tower of jobless (Click for larger image):

unemployment 3



Still, this are tricky numbers to analyse; millenial unemployment is pretty poorly represented in this sort of data, as the boundaries are too broad. 18-24 gives us the beginning of the age group we want, but 25-64 swallows up the rest of it, and leaves us unable to make strong comparisons.

However, if we do look at the 18-24 data, and assume that similar trends would apply later on, the picture is predictably depressing. Take a look at the number of unemployed two years ago compared to just 10 years before that:



Things now seem to be improving, but unemployment is still at a higher rate for people in their mid-twenties than it was not so long ago. For our generation, technically these findings are a win-win – if you have a job, you’ve beaten the odds.

If you haven’t, well – you’re not alone.


Full data:

United Kingdom Percentages
People 25–64 16–17 18–24
2002 3.9 19.4 10.6
2003 3.7 21.1 11.0
2004 3.4 21.7 10.3
2005 3.3 21.7 10.7
2006 3.9 23.6 12.9
2007 3.6 28.3 12.1
2008 3.8 25.8 12.9
2009 5.8 34.7 17.5
2010 5.9 32.8 17.7
2011 5.9 37.3 18.9
2012 5.9 36.8 19.6
1. The unemployment rate is calculated as the percentage of those who are economically active (that is employed) in the relevant age group.
2. May to July each year, Seasonally adjusted.
Source: Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics



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