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Unemployment: an age-old or an old-age problem?

by on May 9, 2014

Periodically Ageatwork highlights debates in the press regarding age and unemployment.  Often these involve debates about the meaning of unemployment statistics and the meaningful comparison that can be made between different groups, with both age and gender being particular areas of scrutiny.  In addition, the BBC released a summary of UK trends yesterday focusing on regional differences, especially regarding Scotland.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Press, here in the Scottish Express are today highlighting that “Alex Salmond was yesterday accused of rewarding failure after promoting his former youth employment minister and giving her a £16,500 pay rise while the number of young jobless is growing“, however the statistics appear to be able to be ‘presented’ in many different ways according to case being made.

On the eve of the European Youth Event in Strasbourg  a useful overview of EU measures to help to tackle youth unemployment in the EU has been produced, this highlights the youth (under 25) unemployment figures as ‘alarming’, particularly in Spain and Greece where one in two under-25’s are unemployed.

In contrast, the Independent yesterday highlighted “The forgotten army of over-50s women, whose unemployment has jumped by 45% since 2010″, again prompting a debate regarding the ‘real’ picture constructed through the use of statistics.  ‘Experts’ quoted within the article suggest that figures are in part due to women over-50 trying to return to the workforce (because of changes to pension legislation and/or reductions in family income more broadly) and due to the number of over-50 women impacted by job reductions in public sector workplaces.  We look forward to reading the Government’s Framework for Action on the business case for helping older workers stay in the labour market when it is published.

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