Unemployment rates by age group

Unemployment rates by age group (2004/05 - 2020/21 Q3)

Unemployment rates have increased in the year to September 2021, and this has been felt most acutely in London by those aged 16-24, who have seen it increase from 16% to 20%.

Unemployment rates for all age groups are higher in London than in the rest of England, which has been true for the whole time period covered by this indicator. Unemployment in London has always been most prevalent amongst those aged between 16 and 24, compared to just 5% of those aged between 25 and 64. Unemployment is also low for those aged 65 and over, at 4% in 2020/21, however relatively few in this group are either in work or seeking work as the majority are retired. 

Compared to other age groups, the unemployment rate for those aged between 16 and 24 also rose faster following the financial crisis and has fallen faster since 2014, bottoming in 2018/19 to then rise slightly in 2019/20. The significant rise in the unemployment rate for those aged between 16 and 24 in 2020/21 reflects the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been more significant in this age group (and within this age group, more significant in London). However, other factors, such as those put on furlough and the change in inactivity within the labour market, should also be considered to fully capture the economic impact of the pandemic.

The unemployment rate is the percentage of the economically active population (adults who are not retired, studying, looking after the home, long-term sick etc.) who are either without a job, have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks and are available to start work in the next two weeks or are out of work but have found a job and are waiting to start in the next two weeks.