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Unemployment rate in the UK 1992-2021, by age group

Over 14 percent of people aged 16 to 24 were unemployed in the United Kingdom in the three months to January 2021 the highest of any age group. Between 1992 and 2021, older age groups have had much lower unemployment rates than 16-24 year old's, who have consistently had the highest unemployment rate. For almost all the age groups, the peak in the unemployment rate was recorded in 2011 when over a fifth of 16 to 24-year-old's were unemployed.

Why is youth unemployment so high?

There are several reasons for the disparity between young and old when examining the unemployment rate. Lack of experience may put off potential employers, leaving young people in a catch-22 situation where they are unable to find work, due to not having had previous employment. Young people who have just left school are also not likely to have a job lined up for themselves when they leave the education system. This is reflected by the fact that more than a quarter of 16 to 17-year-olds were unemployed in the three months to January 2021, while for those aged 18 to 24, the figure was 13.2 percent.

Overall unemployment rising

The overall unemployment rate for the whole of the United Kingdom reached five percent in November 2020, the highest reported rate since August of 2016. After a record low of just 3.8 percent was reached in early 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns had a major impact in the UK labor market, causing the unemployment rate to rise rapidly. It is almost certain that the unemployment rate would be much higher, were it not for intervention methods by the UK government, such as the job retention scheme. As of January 31, 2020, more than a million workers aged between 25 and 34 were being supported by the scheme.

Unemployment rate in the United Kingdom from May 1992 to January 2021, by age group

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Source

Release date

March 2021

Region

United Kingdom

Survey time period

May 1992 to January 2021

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Statistics on "Unemployment in the UK"

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