Is youth unemployment at a historic low?

13 July 2017
What was claimed

Youth unemployment is at historically low levels.

Our verdict

At 12.5% youth unemployment is among the lowest it’s been since 2005.

What was claimed

Youth unemployment is lower than many comparable economies.

Our verdict

Youth unemployment in the UK is lower than the OECD average. The UK has the 9th lowest rate out of G20 countries, and 4th out of countries in the G7.

“Youth unemployment is now at historically low levels and lower than many comparable economies”

Damian Green MP, 12 July 2017

Youth unemployment in the UK is currently 12.5%, the lowest it’s been since 2005 (apart from the beginning of the year, when it was 12.3%). The lowest recorded level since records began was 11.6% in 2001.

This is the proportion of people aged 16-24 who are looking for work, including students who would like to work part-time.

Youth unemployment is still higher than the unemployment rate of older age groups, and has been consistently so.

In 2016 youth unemployment in the UK (classified here as 15-24 year olds) was slightly below the OECD average, at 13% compared to 14%.

That gives us the 9th lowest youth unemployment rate of the G20 economies, and 4th out of countries in the G7 (with Japan up front at 5.4%, Germany next at 6.5%, and the US at 10.9%).

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