Labour Research November 2012

Equality news

Disadvantaged young face difficult search for jobs

The difficulties facing disadvantaged young people looking for work have been examined in a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The challenges for disadvantaged young people seeking work focuses on young jobseekers with limited education and skills, and particularly on those from disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The study says labour market conditions have remained very difficult since the recession. However, over a 10-month period, researchers searched for vacancies in three local labour markets. They looked for selected jobs that require limited education and skills, such as sales assistants, security guards, cleaners, office administrators, kitchen hands, chefs and accounts clerks.

The research found that only a quarter of low-skilled vacancies found for the study (24%) offered full-time, daytime work. Over half of vacancies only paid the minimum wage, and over three-quarters (78%) paid under £7 an hour, less than the “living wage” making it less likely that jobseekers could travel far for them.

Many disadvantaged jobseekers are prepared to take any job. But jobs with minimal or non-standard hours and low pay posed real problems for people who are trying to combine several jobs; or combine work with family or caring responsibilities; or who would incur significant extra costs such as travel and childcare, in taking work.