Nearly 500,000 young women are without work

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Nearly 500,000 young women are without work, while those with jobs struggle to make ends meet, says Young Women’s Trust

YWTCommenting on labour market data from the Office for National Statistics, released today, which shows that 483,000 young women who are not in full-time education are unemployed or economically inactive, Dr Carole Easton OBE, Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, said:

“Young Women’s Trust welcomes the fact that more women are in work but there are still almost half a million young women who are workless.

“More must be done to support the young women who are being left behind. Of those who are not in full-time education, 132,000 young women are unemployed and a further 351,000 – 70,000 more than men – are “economically inactive”. Young Women’s Trust research shows these young women are not given the support they need to find work, despite the vast majority wanting to.

“For those young women who do find work, low pay and job insecurity remain a huge concern. Young people are telling us they are struggling to make ends meet, falling into debt and many are having to move back home with their parents because rent is too high.

“Young people say they want to be financially independent. Giving them the right skills and support to find work, and ensuring decent, flexible jobs are available, will help them achieve that. This would benefit businesses and the economy too.”

Notes to editor

  1. Young Women’s Trust supports and represents women aged 16-30 trapped by low or no pay and facing a life of poverty. The charity provides services and runs campaigns to make sure that the talents of young women don't go to waste.
  2. The Office for National Statistics today published UK labour market data for the period from October 2016 to December 2016.
  3. The data shows that 132,000 women aged 16-24 are unemployed and not in full-time education. They are actively seeking work.
  4. A further 351,000 women aged 16-24 are classed as “economically inactive” and not in full-time education. They are “economically inactive” because they are not able to seek work currently or not able to start work immediately – often due to childcare. They do not count as “unemployed”. 284,000 men aged 16-24 are economically inactive and not in full-time education.
  5. Young Women’s Trust released a report looking into the reasons behind young women’s economic inactivity on 30 November 2016. 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. The report is available here.
  6. Joseph Rowntree Foundation research, released today, shows that a third of people in Britain are living on incomes that do not provide an adequate standard of living.
  7. Young Women’s Trust research shows that young women in particular face low pay and job insecurity. The ‘No Country for Young Women’ report found that:
    1. 39 per cent of young women said it was a struggle to make their cash last to the end of the month and 27 per cent of young women said they are in debt all of the time;
    2. a quarter of 18-30 year olds had to move back home with their parents because they couldn't afford to live independently;
    3. 1 in 5 18-30 year olds reported having been paid less than the minimum wage; and
    4. 1 in 12 parents aged 18-30 reported having to use a foodbank to survive.
    5. The ONS today released data on average weekly earnings, which shows that wage growth is slowing.
    6. For more information, please contact Bex Bailey at bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org or on 07963018281. 

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