Young, black and asian workers have been hardest hit by unemployment in the wake of the pandemic, a new report has found.
The Resolution Foundation said the young had borne the brunt of the job losses because they disproportionately worked in sectors such as hospitality and leisure, which have been worst affected by the crisis.
They found the unemployment rate among 18-24 year olds rose from 11.5% to 13.6% – an 18% increase and the largest rise in one quarter among this age group since 1992.
Their report suggests the rise in youth unemployment is not just about those losing their jobs, but also about young people not finding work in the first place.
Those who left education just before or during the crisis – the so-called “class of 2020” – have faced particular difficulties, with unemployment rising fastest among those who recently left education.
Having a degree has not protected recent graduates from this effect. Among non-graduates who left education one year ago, unemployment rose from 14 to 18 % between 2019 and 2020, an increase of 28 per cent?
And among graduates, it rose from 10 to 14%, a 40 per cent increase.
Kathleen Henehan, a senior research and policy analyst at the RF, said the Government should prioritise the employment prospects for young people as the economy recovers.
“The furlough scheme has done a fantastic job of minimising job losses amidst unprecedented shutdowns of our economy,” she said.
“But young people have still experienced a sharp rise in unemployment during the Covid-19 crisis – with recent education-leavers and young black people being hardest hit.
“Young people have sacrificed their livelihoods in order to save the lives of others from Covid-19, and putting their careers back on track must be a priority for Government in the months and years ahead.”