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Monday, 14th April 2014

UK: The Geography of Youth Unemployment: a Route Map for Change

Source: Work Foundation (UK)

From Executive Summary:

The UK has a youth unemployment crisis: almost million young people in the UK are unemployed and the size of this group was rising even during times of economic growth. Currently one in five young people are seeking work but are unable to find it. Worryingly, this means that labour market conditions for young people have seen little improvement since recovery started.

There are large differences in youth unemployment levels within the UK which reflect a familiar pattern of labour market disadvantage. In most cases the places with the highest youth unemployment rates are those that have experienced economic distress for some time and have failed to adjust to the changing geography of the UK’s economy. Rates of youth unemployment are very high in towns and cities which previously relied on traditional industries for jobs and growth, many of which have seen large reductions in employment. Many of these towns and cities saw little growth during the good times and have been hit hard by the recession. These include coal-mining towns such as Barnsley and Mansfield, the seaside towns of Blackpool and Hastings, former textile manufactures such as Bolton, Blackburn and Huddersfield, and the coastal industrial towns of Middlesbrough, Hull, and Grimsby.

Yet even in cities with successful economies the rate of youth unemployment remains far too high. In Cambridge, Bournemouth and Reading, some of the cities with the lowest levels of youth unemployment, there are still over one in ten young people who want work but cannot access it. This means that even those cities with the lowest rates (for example rates in the best performing cities stand at around 13 per cent) are still a third higher than the German national average (at 8.6 per cent) and double that of Germany’s best performing cities (for instance rates are only 5 per cent in Hamburg).

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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