Page 7: The nature of the problem for young people in the labour market
Young people face particular difficulties in the labour market. On entering the labour market, some young people find it difficult to obtain a secure foothold. Their lack of experience and limited skills means that employers can be reluctant to take them on and incur the costs of training them. In January 1997, 18-24 year olds made up a quarter of the claimant unemployed. Young unemployed people usually have a relatively high exit rate (i.e. they find work relatively quickly) but once scarred by long term unemployment, they have difficulties settling down into stable employment. Being young, they have a long period of potential working life ahead of them and therefore the damage of unemployment to their employability represents a greater economic loss to society.