Half a million young women out of work

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Responding to Office for National Statistics data on the state of the UK labour market Young Women’s Trust Chief Executive Sophie Walker said: 

“There are still half a million young women out of work, including 377,000 who are written off as ‘economically inactive’. 

“Often the young women we call ‘inactive’ are working for free, looking after children and other family members – and propping up society. 

“They tell us they want paid work, so they can support themselves financially. 

“But discrimination that shuts young women out of decent, flexible jobs, combined with failing social care and childcare systems, is forcing hundreds of thousands of young women into poverty. Yet they are the talent this Government needs to address the skills and productivity gap. The Government must stop ignoring these young women and start addressing the barriers to young women’s economic justice.” 

ONS, October 2019



Notes to editor:

  1. Young Women's Trust works to give economic power to young women by raising their voices, challenging sexist stereotypes and rebuilding workplaces free from discrimination. We do this by:
  • Providing free coaching and CV feedback to young women to help them build their skills, identify their talents and develop strong mental health
  • Advising companies how to build equal workplaces
  • Campaigning for young women to be valued – at work and in their unpaid work
  • Training young activists to share their experiences and be the change
  1. The Office for National Statistics today published UK labour market data for the period from June 2019 to August 2019. In total (combining those that are economically inactive and those that are unemployed – but not in full-time education) 501,000 women aged 16-24 were out of work in the last quarter.
  2. Young Women’s Trust released a report looking into the reasons behind young women’s economic inactivity in November 2017. The research shows that a third of economically inactive women want to work now and 86 per cent at some point in the future but they are not given the support they need.

To request an interview with Sophie Walker, or for more information on Young Women’s Trust’s policy recommendations, surveys or case studies, please contact Bex Bailey at bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org or on 020 7837 2019.