Half a million young women still shut out of work, says YWT

Tuesday 15 May 2018

YWTData released today by the Office for National Statistics shows that 507,000 young women are out of work and full-time education – an increase of 33,000 on the same period last year:

  • 148,000 women aged 16-24 are unemployed – an increase of 17,000 on this time last year.
  • 359,000 women aged 16-24 are economically inactive (not in work or able to start work immediately) – an increase of 16,000 on this time last year.

Commenting, Young Women’s Trust chief executive Dr Carole Easton OBE said: 

“We welcome the record rate of employment but today’s figures show that half a million young women are still out of work and full-time education. 

“Young women tell us they want to work and be able to live independently, but insecure work, low pay and gender discrimination are holding them back. It’s not just families that are losing out from this but businesses and the economy too. 

“Politicians must commit to improving young people’s prospects – or many will remain out of work and the economy will suffer. Young Women’s Trust is calling on the Government to give young women the right skills and support to find jobs, ensure decent and flexible jobs are available, and extend the National Living Wage to under-25s, so they are paid the same amount for the same work.” 


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 January 2018 to March 2018.
  3. The data shows that 148,000 women aged 16-24 are unemployed and not in full-time education. They are actively seeking work. A further 359,000 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”. 295,000 men aged 16-24 are economically inactive and not in full-time education – 64,000 fewer than the number of women.
  4. 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.
  5. For more information or to speak to a young woman who is affected, please contact Bex Bailey on 07963018281 or bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org.