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How are we counting ‘youth employment’? The joy of statistics

by on March 13, 2014

I hadn’t come across Full Fact before today, but they describe themselves as ‘an independent factchecking organisation’ that provides ‘free tools, information and advice, so that anyone can check the claims we hear from politicians and the media’. Sounds good to us!

Earlier in the week we mentioned a piece in The Telegraph about the difficulty in interpreting the youth unemployment rate.

Now, Full Fact has brought their forensic statistical skills to bear on this issue, here specifically analysing the statistics behind a recent clash in the Commons between Harriet Harman and Nick Clegg about the level of youth unemployment since the last general election. Up? Down? Or about the same?

Full Fact do a much better job than my attempt to summarise the Telegraph article on this subject.

The bottom line remains much the same: it’s hard to define long-term youth unemployment with 4 possible measures to choose from. I suggest however that this is only part of the issue. Are we counting (long-term) unemployment at the other end of the age spectrum, for example, among those at or above state pension age who are nevertheless seeking work?

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