This paper presents the latest statistics on youth unemployment in the UK as well as comparisons with other EU countries.

Download the full report

506,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in November 2019-January 2020, an increase of 34,000 from the previous quarter and a slight increase from the year before. By historical standards, unemployment levels for young people are very low.

For context, it is worth noting that the total population aged 16-24 has been declining in recent years; in the year to November 2019-January 2020, it decreased by 65,000. The number of young people in employment also decreased by 38,000 over the same period, while the number who are economically inactive (not in or looking for work) decreased by 33,000.

The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are unemployed) for 16-24 year olds was 11.7% in November 2019-January 2020. This is up from 11.2% in the previous quarter and from 11.5% a year before.

The inactivity rate for young people is 37.2%. Three quarters of young people who are economically inactive are in full-time education.

Youth Unemployment across Europe

The UK youth unemployment rate was 11.7%, compared to 14.4% for the European Union as a whole.

  • Commons Research Briefing SN05871
  • Authors: Andy Powell, Brigid Francis-Devine, Niamh Foley
  • Topics: Work & Incomes

Download the full report