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Gloucestershire Business News

Young workers continue to carry weight of unemployment

Younger workers continue to bear the brunt of job cuts with under-35s making up 80 per cent of job losses in the last year.

Official figures from the Office for National Statistics said 811,000 payroll jobs in the UK were lost over the 12 months to March.

The unemployment rate fell slightly from five per cent to 4.9 per cent in the three months to February.

The number of unemployed people fell 50,000 between December and February compared to the previous quarter, but the total of 1.67 million remained 311,000 higher than the previous year.

ONS date showed 635,000 payroll jobs lost over the year belonged to people under 35 - 436,000 of them under 25.

CBI director of people and skills Matthew Percival said: "Evidence continues to mount that it is young people's jobs that have been hardest hit by lockdowns.

"Support for jobs and training will be vital to making the UK's economic recovery inclusive.

"Government should confirm that the extra lockdown at the beginning of the year means that the Kickstart Scheme will remain open for longer to allow businesses the time to deliver opportunities for young people."

Boris Johnson: Apprentices can kickstart building back

The National Centre for Universities and Business also called on the Government to act to reverse the trend in youth unemployment.

Chief executive Dr Joe Marshall said: "While it is of course positive that the numbers of vacancies have increased to pre-pandemic levels - it seems largely due to hospitality, construction and retail re-opening - now is no time for complacency.

"Supporting young people must be the top priority for the Government. In no uncertain terms they must act now to avoid a lost generation.

"As the UK emerges from lockdown, we must ensure that those who have lost out most economically, are given most support."

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