New government figures have shown that youth unemployment is at its lowest level since April 2011. However, the Local Government Association (LGA) believe this latest government report on unemployment fails to highlight the scale of underemployment among 16 to 24 year olds.

In a fresh analysis of the youth labour market, the report by the LGA revealed that rates including underemployment are much higher in reality – affecting two in five young people between 16 to 24 year olds. This is because the government statistics discount those who are only working part-time hours or who are over-qualified for their current job.

Of the 2.5 million young people struggling to find enough work across England and Wales, the analysis compiled by LGA highlighted that only 340,000 are likely to find more work over the next four years. This leaves 2.12 million young people still unemployed or underemployed. Based on their analysis, the LGA have stated that 33% will be out of work or trapped in underemployment by 2018. However, the figures are likely to be less if local areas are given more control over training and skills.

The government report showed that young people would prefer to be in work but the analysis carried out by the LGA showed that almost a third of young people’s time is unused, equating to an additional 2 billion hours wasted in a year.

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