March : Latest Youth Unemployment Figures

Youth unemployment data

UK Labour Market 2017

The latest ONS data shows that employment continues to run at a record high rate of 74.6%. The latest figures cover November 2016 - January 2017 .

The Headlines

  • There were 31.85 million people in work, 92,000 more than for August to October 2016 and 315,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.34 million people working full-time, 305,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.52 million people working part-time, 10,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.6%, the joint highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.7%, down from 5.1% for a year earlier. It has not been lower since June to August 1975. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.

Youth Employment figures

Within this data set young people are defined as those aged 16 - 24. Young people in full-time education are included in the employment estimates if they have a part-time job and are included in the unemployment estimates if they are seeking part-time work.

Young people (aged 16 to 24) in the UK labour market for November to January 2017, seasonally adjusted
Young people (aged 16 to 24) in the UK labour market for November to January 2017, seasonally adjusted
  • Youth unemployment is at 12.3%, lower than for a year earlier (13.7%). It has not been lower since August to October 2004.
  • 3.94 million people in work (including 931,000 full-time students with part-time jobs)
  • 554,000 unemployed people (including 189,000 full-time students looking for part-time work)
  • 2.66 million economically inactive people, most of whom (2.02 million) were full-time students

Since records began (in 1992) the unemployment rate of those aged 16 to 24 has been consistently higher than older age groups.

What does this mean for young people?

  • 554,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in November 2016-January 2017, down 33,000 from the previous quarter and down 78,000 compared to a year ago.1
  • The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are unemployed) for 16-24 year olds was 12.3%, down from 13.7% a year ago.
  • Excluding young people in full-time education, 365,000 people aged 16-24 were unemployed in November 2016-January 2017, down 38,000 from the previous quarter and down 48,000 from the previous year.
  • The unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds not in full-time education was 10.8%, compared to 12.1% a year ago.
  • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,003,000, down 36,000 on the quarter, representing 14.0% of the youth population (down 0.5 percentage points). (Data taken from Learning and Work, Labour Market Analysis)

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said:

"I’m delighted by another set of record-breaking figures showing more people in work than ever before and unemployment falling to its lowest in 12 years.

Employment is up, wages are up and there are more people working full time. This is good news for hardworking families across the UK as we continue to build a country that works for everyone.

But we have more to do, which is why we’re pressing ahead with our welfare reforms to ensure that it always pays to be in work".

Next Steps:

  • Join Youth Employment UK as a Community Member and work with us to help tackle Youth Unemployment
  • Read our #CareersCampaign and see our recommendations for a new careers strategy
  • Read our APPG for Youth Employment report into youth employment data here
  • Read more of our articles and best practise support here

Further Information

Find out more about this topic by calling us on 0844 4143101
or emailing us at

Leave a Reply

Latest Articles

See more

Sales and Account Manager Job Vacancy – Youth Employment UK

Looking for a new challenge? We are looking for a sales and account manager to join our growing team at […]

Latest employment figures

June: Latest UK Employment Figures

The latest ONS data shows the employment rate at 74.8%, at its highest since comparable records began. The data available […]


The impact of the youth vote on the 2017 General Election

The NUS have today suggested that around 72% of 18-24 year olds voted in the general election, which if true […]

#iwill pledge day

Share your pledge day #iwill

Youth Employment UK is joining over 700 organisations saying #iwill for young people in National Volunteer’s Week Pledge day 7th […]