Younger people are increasingly struggling to find work as skilled migrants from Eastern Europe challenge them for jobs, official figures have shown.
Unemployment is at a six-year high, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But because of an increasing number of people in the labour force, the total number in work remains at an all-time high. The number of people claiming unemployment benefit also fell.
John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said the big losers in the jobs market at present were 18- to 24-year-olds. “This group accounts for half the latest rise in unemployment and, according to CIPD survey evidence, are those who face the stiffest competition from eager young migrants from Eastern Europe,” he said.
The ONS figures also show that older workers are enjoying the biggest rises in employment. Philpott said this should allay fears that employers are ditching older staff ahead of the introduction of next month’s age laws.