30,000 more young women not in employment, education or training

Thursday 28 February 2019

YWT logoThe Office for National Statistics released figures today (Thursday) that show that 414,000 women aged 16 to 24 were not in education, employment or training (NEET) in the last quarter (October to December 2018) – an increase of 30,000 on the same quarter the previous year. This is most likely a result of economic inactivity levels rising by 38,000.

Of the 414,000, 124,000 were unemployed and 290,000 were economically inactive and out of training and education, compared to 184,000 young men. Young Women’s Trust research shows that the main reason for young women’s economic inactivity is taking on caring responsibilities, which can often provide a barrier to work due to the cost of childcare and a lack of flexible working. In the same period, the number of young men who are NEET fell by 36,000. 

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

“While the Government is rightly working to reduce unemployment, it must not forget the quarter of a million young women who are classed as ‘economically inactive’ and often wrongly assumed to not want jobs. These women are shut out of the labour market because they are not able to start work immediately for reasons like a lack of convenient childcare. They are not given adequate government support to find jobs, despite many wanting to work. 

“Young Women’s Trust research shows that one in three of these young women want to work now and 86 per cent in the future. Giving young women the support they need to find work will not only help them to become financially independent but will 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 data on young people who were not in education, employment or training between October and December 2018 (NEET): https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peoplenotinwork/unemployment/datasets/youngpeoplenotineducationemploymentortrainingneettable1
  3. The data shows that 290,000 young women are NEET and economically inactive, compared to 184,000 young men – a difference of 106,000. 
  4. “Economically inactive” refers to people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) but are not 'actively seeking work'. Because this group have not been looking for work in the last month and are not able to start working within two weeks, they get missed out of the unemployment statistics.
  5. Young Women’s Trust’s analysis of the ONS Labour Force Survey covering January to March 2016 found that the most common reason for women’s economic inactivity is caring for a family member. 
  6. 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 these 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: https://www.youngwomenstrust.org/assets/0000/8285/Young_Female_Forgotten_Summary_Report.pdf

For more information, please contact Bex Bailey at bex.bailey@youngwomenstrust.org or on 07495981142.