NEW LABOUR MARKET FIGURES from the Office for National Statistics show that young people (16-24 year-olds) account for six in 10 (58 per cent) of the payroll jobs lost over the last year.

Commenting on the figures, the TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Young workers are bearing the brunt of this jobs crisis. We cannot afford for another generation to be scarred by mass unemployment. The government must stop dragging its heels and announce an extension of the full furlough scheme for the rest of this year. The current uncertainty is creating needless anxiety and making it for hard for businesses and working families to plan for the future. And it must revamp its Kickstarter scheme to help more young people back into work.”

Turning to support for the self-employed, O’Grady added: “Millions of self-employed workers are still being denied the support they need to make ends meet during this crisis. That is not right. Ministers must fix this urgently and extend the self-employed scheme to help more workers.”

On the need to boost job creation, O’Grady said: The economy needs jumpstarting. The government must get on the front foot and start investing in job creation. Fast-tracking spending now on green housing, infrastructure and our public services can create good jobs in the parts of the country that need them most.”

The General Secretary said that there isa need for action for those who have recently lost their jobs, “Ministers must help those who lose their jobs get back on their feet quickly. That means keeping the £20 uplift in Universal Credit in place. – not taking away this lifeline.”

* See Labour market overview, UK February 2021 here.

* Source: Trades Union Congress