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Video Summary: Young People in Work, 2012

Released: 29 February 2012

This is a short video looking at young people in work.

Firstly we will look at employment rates, which show the percentage of people in work using this graph. Here is the line back to 1992 for all young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in full-time education and here the line for everyone aged 25 to 64.

If we draw this line here at 2004 to split up the chart we can see that from 1992 up to 2004 there was a similar employment rate for the two groups. So an individual aged 16 to 24 no longer in full-time education was as likely to be in employment as their 25 to 64 year old counterparts. At the start of 2004 the employment rate for both groups was around 75 per cent.

Now since 2004 the employment rate for those aged 16 to 24 and not in full-time education has fallen and in the final quarter of 2011 it stood at 66 per cent and the rate for those aged 25 to 64 was 74.9 per cent, a gap of 8.9 percentage points.

Some of the main reasons for the widening in the employment rates is firstly an education effect. From 2004 to 2008 more young people chose mainstream education and there was also a fall in work based schemes. These falls were mainly at the expense of employment so the employment rate of those not in full-time education fell.

Also the recent recession in 2008 impacted more on young people than those aged 25 to 64, partly because many young people were starting to look for work when the economy was weak.

We can also look at the employment rate of people aged 16 to 24 and in full-time education and you can see it is much lower. It too has fallen from around 2004 and in the final quarter of 2011 around 27.2 per cent of young people were working alongside their full-time study.

We can also look at the types of jobs that young people carry out within the UK and we will use this chart to illustrate this.

On the left hand side we will look at young people who are still in full-time education of which 92 per cent of them work part-time. On the right hand side look at those who are not in full-time education of which just 25 per cent work part-time.
Here are the bars for those still in full-time education and two groups stand out, that is the majority, or around three-quarters, work in sales and customer service jobs and elementary occupations. This occupation group has the lowest skilled jobs in the economy such as waiters and waitresses, bar staff, kitchen assistants and cleaners.

Now if we look at the bars for those who have left full-time education you can see that it is more spread out across the groups although again the two highest groups are sales and customer service jobs and elementary occupations.

We can look at how employment varies for young men and women using this chart. If we bring up the bars for everyone aged 16 to 24 regardless of their education status we can see that overall young men and women have similar employment rates at just under 50 per cent.

Now if we look at the employment rate for those in full-time education you can see the bar for women is higher than that for men, so young women who are in full-time study are more likely to work than young men in study.

Looking at those who have left full-time education the opposite happens with young men more likely to be in work than young women. This is because some young women are not looking to enter the labour market as they start to have a young family.

Finally we can look at the average wage that individuals get paid depending on the type of job that they are doing.

Firstly here are the bars for those aged 16 to 24 across the major occupational groups and the average wage overall in April 2011 was £7.01 per hour, shown here by the red shading on the graph.

Young people earn most in the professional type occupations at £13.39 per hour, shown here by the red shading.

Now if we bring on these bars we can look at the average wage per hour for those aged 25 and over in the same occupations. We can see that earnings are higher for each of the occupational groups and this is mainly because earnings tend to rise sharply up to the age of 30 as people gain experience, so the younger age group earn less.

The overall average for those aged 25 and over is £19.12 per hour, so those aged 16 to 24 earn around 42 per cent less than their older counterparts.

The smallest gap between the occupations groups is for sales and customer service jobs in which many young people work. In April 2011 those aged 16 to 24 earned around 11 per cent than those aged 25 and over.

The animated video with commentary shows:

  • the latest estimate for young people aged 16 to 24 in employment was 3.6 million, with the employment rate much higher for those who had left full-time education than for students;

  • how the types of jobs differ for young people in and out of education, and between men and women;

  • how the hourly rate of pay is lower for young people than for older people.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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