Young people in Britain have borne the brunt of the financial crisis, with a larger proportion of 16- to 24-year-olds now out of work than any other age group. The unemployment rate among 16- to 17-year-olds is 35.9%, and 18% among 18- to 24-year-olds, according to the Office for National Statisticsin its latest economic review.
In contrast the rate falls to 4.7% among 35- to 49-year-olds, and 4.4% among 50- to 64-year-olds.
Those aged between 18 and 24 accounted for almost 30% of the rise in the unemployment rate between the first quarter of 2008 and the peak in unemployment in the fourth quarter of 2011, roughly double their proportion of the labour force. Over that period the overall jobless rate rose from 5.2% to 8.4%.
Older workers have fared relatively better during the crisis. People aged 35 to 49 make up a bigger proportion of the UK workforce, at just over a third, but only accounted for about 20% of the increase in the jobless rate over the period.
“The burden of higher unemployment has therefore fallen most heavily on younger workers; while the recent fall in unemployment rates has benefited workers aged 35-49 proportionately more than those aged 18-24 and 25-34,” the ONS said in its analysis.
Between the peak in the final three months of 2011 and the three months to November 2013, the jobless rate fell among all age groups, although none has returned to their lower pre-crisis rates. The rate has dropped from 20% to 18% among 18- to 24-year-olds, and from 8.1% to 6.7% among 25- to 34-year-olds.
The latest available data showed that the jobless rate overall fell to 7.1% in the three months to November, from 7.4%, with 2.32 million people out of work – 167,000 fewer than in the three months to August.
The ONS noted that while Britain’s dominant services sector was the main driver of 0.7% economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2013, and output in the sector has returned to pre-crisis levels, there has been poor productivity growth in services, which accounts for 78% of the economy.
“The weakness of labour productivity in the UK largely reflects poor productivity growth in the services sector and in the non-manufacturing elements of the production sector, including the extraction industries,” it said.
“Output per hour in manufacturing returned to strong growth during 2010 and 2011, but has since then suffered another large fall.”
Article Reproduced from TheGuardian.com