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Youth unemployment still high despite recovery

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Lack of employment opportunities among 16- to 24-year-olds remains widespread, with more than ten UK cities having youth unemployment higher than 25%.

The Geography Of Youth Unemployment — A Route Map For Change, by The Work Foundation, shows the worst affected areas of the UK. Out of the ten worst affected areas only one is in the south (Plymouth). 

Despite this, Work Foundation research analyst Nye Cominetti, who worked on the report, told HR magazine he didn't believe it was helpful to talk in terms of geographical variations. "We tend to look more at the industrial backgrounds of the areas," he said. "A lot of the areas that are still struggling, whether in the south or north, traditionally relied on industries such as mining or manufacturing, which have declined overall over the last 30 years."

The urban area with the highest unemployment is Middleborough & Stockton, where 33.3% of young people are out of work. Barnsley and Glasgow are the next worst affected areas, with 28.9% and 27.2% respectively. The figures do not include people in full-time education. 

Ethnic minorities disadvanatged

A separate paper, A Tale of Two Cities, was released on Monday by The Work Foundation and specifically looks at youth unemployment in London. The main findings show a marked difference of 18 percentage points (14% to 32%) between unemployment rates of young white people and those from Black African and Caribbean ethnic groups. 

The report’s lead author, Ceri Hughes, research assistant at The Work Foundation, said that this gap needs addressing. However, she added that other inequalities should not be ignored in the capital. "London is home to large numbers of people in poverty who are likely to have fewer resources to draw on in supporting their children as they transition into work," she said. "At present, these inequalities are not sufficiently accounted for, leaving these groups further disadvantaged."