House of Commons Library

Youth unemployment statistics

Published Tuesday, September 10, 2019

This paper presents the latest statistics on youth unemployment in the UK as well as comparisons with other EU countries.

Jump to full report >>

488,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in May-July 2019, a small increase from the previous quarter and little changed from the year before. By historical standards, unemployment levels for young people are very low.

For context, it is worth noting that the total population aged 16-24 has been declining in recent years; in the year to May-July 2019 it decreased by 86,000. The number of young people in employment decreased by 54,000 over the past year, while the number who are economically inactive (not in or looking for work) decreased by 31,000.

The unemployment rate (the proportion of the economically active population who are unemployed) for 16-24 year olds was 11.4% in May-July 2019. This is up from 11.2% in the previous quarter and up slightly from 11.3% a year before.


The inactivity rate for young people is 38.2%. Three quarters of young people who are economically inactive are in full-time education.

The UK youth unemployment rate was 10.4% in January-March 2019, compared to 14.4% for the European Union as a whole.

Commons Briefing papers SN05871

Authors: Andy Powell; Brigid Francis-Devine; Niamh Foley

Topic: Unemployment

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.