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Young adult unemployment

Key points

  • Young adult unemployment rate is at its highest level since the start of the data series in 1993.
  • One in four economically active young adults in London is unemployed, compared to the average of one in ten for all working-age adults.

Young adult unemployment rates over time


What does this graph show?

London's young adult unemployment rate has been increasing since 2002, whilst the overall unemployment rate remained quite flat until 2009. This divergence has been further exacerbated by the recession. In 2002 the young adult unemployment rate in London was 8 percentage points higher than the average for London, in 2012 that gap had doubled to 16 percentage points.

In 2012, 25% of economically active young adults in London were unemployed, compared to 20% in the rest of England - a gap of five percentage points, compared to a gap of one percentage point in the overall unemployment rate. Moreover, last year the young adult unemployment rate in the rest of England did not change, whilst in London it increased.

Data used

Labour Force Survey, ONS

Indicator last updated: 11 October 2013

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Some indicators express unemployment as unemployed people as a proportion of all people aged 16 to 64. This differs to the "unemployment rate" which is unemployed people as a proportion of 16 to 64 year olds that are either employed or unemployed (i.e. excluding the economically inactive).


Someone wanting and actively seeking work who is available to start a full-time job straightaway


16 to 19-year-olds 'not in education, employment or training'

Outer London:

Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bromley, Bexley, Brent, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, Waltham Forest

Inner London:

Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth, Westminster

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