Employment statistics mask young workers’ reality, says YWT

Tuesday 17 July 2018

YWTData released today by the Office for National Statistics shows that 505,000 young women were out of work and full-time education in the last quarter – an increase of 29,000 on the same period last year:

  • 147,000 women aged 16-24 are unemployed – an increase of 11,000 on this time last year; and
  • an additional 357,000 women aged 16-24 are economically inactive (not in work or able to start work immediately) – an increase of 17,000 on this time last year. 

Commenting, Young Women’s Trust campaigns and communications director Joe Levenson said: 

“The high levels of women’s employment are welcome but the worry is that this is largely down to later retirement ages and zero hours’ contracts that don’t provide a stable income. 

“On top of the thousands of young women in precarious work struggling to make ends meet, there are half a million more still out of work and full-time education – 29,000 more than this time last year. Many of these women are not included in unemployment figures and are therefore not getting the support they need, despite wanting to work. 

“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 March 2018 to May 2018.
  3. The data shows that 147,000 women aged 16-24 are unemployed and not in full-time education. They are actively seeking work. A further 357,000 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”. 288,000 men aged 16-24 are economically inactive and not in full-time education – 69,000 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.