Young people face toughest job outlook in 20 years

TUC calls for government to do more.

Photograph: Getty Images

The TUC has warned that young people in Britain face the toughest job outlook in 20 years.

Official figures published today show that the number of unemployed people fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to June. According to the Office for National Statistics, this brings the unemployment rate down to 8.0 per cent for the period.

The TUC published a report this morning prior to official figures being reported calling for the government to do more to tackle youth unemployment.

The union said the proportion of young people in full-time education had risen from 24 per cent in 1992 to 41 per cent this year. It said that more than one in five 16-24 year olds are in work, compared with one in seven in 1992.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, said, "Students looking to start their careers or continue in their education next month are facing the toughest climate for nearly 20 years.

"It's particularly worrying that long-term joblessness for young people is still rising, even as overall unemployment falls. If this continues we could lose a generation of talented and highly qualified youngsters to blighted careers, debt and under-achievement."

The government defended its record on youth employment, saying that its new scheme, the Youth Contract, will offer nearly 500,000 opportunities for work experience and apprenticeships.

The rest of this story can be read in economia.