Explore the data

There is limited official data available on young women. The government continues to make decisions and new policies without considering the needs of young women from different backgrounds and communities.

Our research team reviewed the data available to the public relevant to young women’s economic justice. The data we do have shows the economic inequality that young women face in the UK.

Young women in work

The official Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is one of the only datasets to include a breakdown for young women. It shows every year that the gender gap in earnings starts at the beginning of young women’s careers.

In 2020, women aged 18 to 21 earned 31% less than young men of the same age. Women aged 22 to 29 earned 19% less than men of the same age.


Young women not in work or training

Young women are more likely to be classed as ‘economically inactive’ than young men. This is means they have been unable to start work immediately. This is often due to caring responsibilities, health issues or a lack of available opportunities.

Our research estimated a value to the economy of young women’s unpaid work of at least £140 billion. They are far from being economically ‘inactive’.

Official unemployment data shows that

  • Unemployment has been particularly high for young women during each lockdown period
  • In 2020, unemployment for young women was higher than in 2019

The impact of coronavirus

Our research has shown that the economic and wider impact of coronavirus on young women is not being measured enough in official data.

Research from Women’s Budget Group found there is a ‘gender furlough gap’. Meaning women were more likely to be furloughed than men. This difference is more pronounced for young women.

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Latest report

Young Women’s Missing Data and Voices highlights the gaps in official data on young women and finds out what they have to say on these topics.

Read the report

Explore the Research Centre

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Our peer research approach

Peer research is research that is led and carried out by people with lived experience of the topic being studied.

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Our research

Explore our library of research which highlights the barriers that young women face.