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Youth unemployment high in north of England and Wales

Staff Writer |
There are varying levels of youth unemployment across the UK, with high levels in the north of England and Wales, as the country faces a skills shortage, according to EY.

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EY found that youth unemployment varied across the country compared to the overall rate of employment, and is a particularly high in Middlesbrough, Swansea, Wolverhampton and Bradford.

In north east of England, unemployment was 18.3% and in the east of England it was 11.2%. Out of the 48 cities researched, Coventry had the lowest rate of unemployment at 8.2%.

Youth unemployment is at least double than the rest of the UK, with 11.6% for 18 to 24-year-olds, compared to 4.9% for people over 16.

From 2014 to 2015 youth employment fell by 166,000 with a 28% fall in the manufacturing sector. For people under 24 there were reductions in employment in the construction, financial and business sector over the past decade. However, employment in the hospitality sector is expected to grow 0.4% a year on average between 2015 and 2030.

EY chief economist Mark Gregory, said: "Youth unemployment rates have fallen from the peaks we saw during the recession, when 40% of the UK's 16 to 17-year-olds were facing unemployment.

"However, a stubbornly high number of young people remain excluded from the labour market, which could be further exacerbated by a period of weaker economic growth in these uncertain times ahead. History has shown us that young people are more exposed to economic volatility and industry restructuring than the population as a whole."

Since 2011, there was a 130% rise in unfilled job vacancies in the UK, due to a skills shortage. Gregory said the UK's decision to leave the European Union could impose restrictions on the free movement of labour. He added: "It has never been more important to ensure the UK has the right mix of skills and talent, both nationally and locally, and young people are core to this."

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