Youth unemployment set to hit one million

Youth unemployment could top one million when official figures are published later this week, experts have warned.

The data for August is set to be released on Wednesday and experts predict that the hiring freezes for graduates this summer could mean the number of unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds will jump from 947,000 in July to past the one million mark.

David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee and a labour market expert, told the Observer: “I think unemployment for the under-25s is certain to go through one million, if not this month then next.”

John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, said: “I would expect to see something of a jump this time.”

Meanwhile Blanchflower urged the government to act now to extend benefit payments for young unemployed people undertaking unpaid internships.

He said: “The government should do anything it can to stop young people being unemployed, including offering to pay them benefits while on internships.”

Last month Personnel Today revealed that the Jobseeker’s Allowance rules could undermine businesses’ attempts to get the young back into work, by prevented those undertaking unpaid work experience from continuing to claim the benefit.

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