Fraser Nelson

Brown’s children

Brown's children
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Why is this recession so cruel to the young? The unemployment figures - now up to 2.44 million - are bad enough. It's the largest single quarterly drop since data began in 1971. But look deeper and there's a striking disparity amongst the age groups. The under-18s – school leavers – are hit the most, with their employment numbers down 17% year-on-year. The 18-24 year olds are next worst hit. But there is actually a rise in pension-aged people returning to work.

The bottom line: unemployment amongst the under-25s is a third higher than when Labour came to power. CoffeeHousers may remember how full of pious anger Gordon Brown was during the last recession, saying that youth unemployment was a particular outrage, and he called them "Major's children". We hear far less of that from him now. And little wonder: unemployment lags the economy so, even if we are technically out of recession now (which I suspect we are), this grim trajectory of dole numbers has some way to go.

TITLE: YoY Change In Employment and Unemployment By Age, Q2-2009