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Jobseekers Allowance: Young People

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate she has made of the number of people under 24 years old claiming jobseeker's allowance who have (a) never worked, (b) never had a full-time job and (c) not worked for more than six months since reaching the age of 18; and if she will make a statement. (293577)

The preferred method for reporting on the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance is the Jobcentre Plus Administrative System, which provides the source for the official claimant count figures published by the Office for National Statistics each month in the Labour Market Statistical Bulletin. This shows that in September 2009 there were 490,800 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobseeker's allowance in the UK.

Administrative records do not contain information on the claimants' employment history. The available information about those jobseeker's allowance claimants who have never worked is contained in the Labour Force Survey; the April-June 2009 survey shows that 30 per cent. of 16 to 23-year-olds claiming jobseeker's allowance had never had a paid job. Of these, a small number, about 3 per cent. were in full-time education.

In addition, further analysis shows that the majority of this group who have never worked are concentrated towards the younger ages within the range. Two-thirds of the 16 to 23-year-olds claiming JSA who have never had a paid job are 20-years-old or younger.

Information is not available on those who have never had a full-time job, or those who have not worked for more than six months since reaching the age of 18.