12 March 2015
Research published by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Resolution Foundation shows that young people were hit worst by the recession and the ensuing austerity agenda Average wages for those in their 20s are now a fifth lower than in 2008/9. The number of 20-24 year olds in work fell by 10% over the same period.
Gavin Kelly, the Resolution Foundation’s director, said “Recessions are always bad for younger people; this one has been disastrous.”
However the deregulation and casualisation of the labour market had begun to impact young people before the recession; “The transitional period from learning into stable work for the young has become more stretched-out over the past 10 to 15 years, and the big fall in demand in the labour market during the crisis has intensified that process.” he said.
The analysis by the Resolution foundation found that 22-to-29-year-olds saw a 12.5% fall in wages between 2009 and 2014.
John Hills, the professor behind the LSE research, said; “The generation born in the 1980s did what was asked of it in gaining more qualifications, but has paid the greatest price through the crisis and is now earning much less than they might have expected. Their future prospects now depend more than ever on what happens to the wealth of their parents and grandparents. But that is very unequally distributed, and so will be who get helps and benefits from inheritance.”
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Britain is lucky to have a generation of young people that is so well educated and so hard-working. But the government has left many young workers shut out of the recovery and open to exploitation by underpaying employers and over-charging landlords.
“And the Conservatives want to make young people’s lives even harder by cutting back social security protection for young workers.”
Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves, said: “This is yet more evidence that young people have been completely let down by David Cameron. Not only have they been saddled with more debt due to the rise in tuition fees, young people have faced the biggest rise in unemployment and the largest fall in wages since 2010.