Youth need jobs help, says Lancashire expert

CHALLENGE: Ian Brinkley

CHALLENGE: Ian Brinkley

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Finding young people work remains a challenge despite a fall in the overall unemployment rate, a Lancashire-based expert has said.

In the North West, the jobless total now stands at 203,000.

Almost all of the substantial rise in employment was for full-time permanent employee jobs.

Ian Brinkley

That’s down 16,000 – an average of 5.7 per cent rate unemployed.

Ian Brinkley, chief economist at Lancaster University’s The Work Foundation, said: “The labour market recovery shows no sign of running out of steam.

“Almost all of the substantial rise in employment was for full-time permanent employee jobs.

“We also saw a significant 
pick-up in the growth of regular pay (excluding bonuses) to 2.7 per cent comparing the three months to April with the same three months a year ago.

“But some are being left behind. The overall unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent, but for those between the ages of 18 and 24 it was unchanged at 14.3 per cent.”

He added: “Successful integration of some young people into today’s labour market remains a big challenge for the new 
government.”

Mr Brinkley’s comments came as latest figures showed the UK unemployment has fallen again while wage growth has hit a near four-year high.

The number of people out of work between February and April fell by 43,000 to 1.81 million, the Office for National Statistics said. The national average jobless rate was 5.5 per cent.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said: “Today’s figures confirm that our long-term economic plan is already starting to deliver a better, more prosperous future for the whole of the country, with wages rising, more people finding jobs and more women in work.”

Wage growth could signal interest rates may rise sooner than expected.