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372,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in May-July 2022, down 83,000 from the previous quarter and down 150,000 from the year before. This was the lowest level of youth unemployment since records began in 1992, and the first time that youth unemployment has been recorded as being less than 400,000.

The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are unemployed) for 16–24 year olds was 9.1%. This is down from 10.8% in the previous quarter and down from 12.8% from the year before.

The number of young people in employment fell by 14,000 in May-July 2022 from the previous quarter but increased by 179,000 from the previous year to 3.74 million.

The number who are economically inactive (not in or looking for work) increased by 111,000 from the previous quarter and remained at a similar level to the year before at 2.72 million. 78% of the young people who are economically inactive are in full-time education.

The inactivity rate for young people is 39.8%, up from 38.3% in the previous quarter.

Trends in youth unemployment

After reaching a peak of 22.5% in 2011 following the 2008 financial crisis, youth unemployment rates fell until the start of the pandemic to 12.3% in January-March 2020. Youth unemployment did initially rise after the outbreak of the pandemic, with the youth unemployment rate reaching a high of 14.9% in July-September 2020. Levels of youth unemployment were 15% higher in this quarter than they were pre-pandemic.

Since then, youth unemployment has been steadily falling. There were 159,000 fewer unemployed young people in May-July 2022 compared to January-March 2020, a 30% fall. The youth unemployment rate has fallen from 12.3% to 9.1% during this period.


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