Labour Research April 2021


Young worst hit by jobs crisis

Positive news on payroll jobs, or the precipice before a surge in unemployment, scarring young people in particular? Those were two conflicting assessments of the latest labour market figures.

The Office for National Statistics highlighted the number of employees on payroll, pointing out that after another monthly increase, there were almost 200,000 more on payroll in February than three months earlier (although still nearly 700,000 down from the start of the pandemic). It said: “Of the decrease since then, almost two-thirds has been among the under-25s, over half has been in hospitality, and almost a third has been in London.”

However, the Labour Force Survey unemployment rate continued to increase while the employment rate continued to fall.

The National Youth Agency warned that up to one in nine young people are out of work, while the TUC highlighted continuing redundancies, over 300,000 for the second consecutive quarter.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, said it was make-or-break time to prevent mass unemployment, with jobs being lost every day and an absence of new jobs for people to go to. “We could create 1.8 million new jobs in the next two years in green transport and infrastructure, and by unlocking public sector vacancies”, she said.