While fears of a lasting rise in youth unemployment following Covid-19 did not come to pass, youth worklessness remains a growing trend. The latest research from the Resolution Foundation highlights that the number of 18-24-year-olds not working due to ill health has almost doubled in a decade, from 94,000 in 2012 to 185,000 in 2022.
However, there is also reason for cautious optimism, with unemployment rates for 18-24-year-olds no higher at the start of 2023 than on the eve of the pandemic. However, statistics vary by region. Young people in cities like London, Cardiff, Glasgow or Liverpool are less likely to be out of work due to ill health (around 2%) compared to the same cohort living in small towns in areas like Derbyshire, Devon and South Wales (around 3.4%). With any spell outside the labour market potentially impacts employment prospects, policymakers must act now to ensure early intervention for mental health issues - one of the biggest causes of youth worklessness.