Saturday jobs dying as teen employment halves

A study in Britain found that the number of working teenagers has almost halved in the last 20 years, sparking fears of the death of the so-called Saturday job. The study by the Resolution Foundation suggests that a quarter of 16 and 17 year olds were not working between 2017 snd 2019, falling from 48 per cent in 1997-99. Instead, young people were prioritising studies over part-time work.

The think tank says the number of people who have never worked increased by 52% over the last 20 years. The report says 8.2% of people aged 16-64 – some 3.4 million people in total – had never had a paid job. That is a 52% increase since 1998 when 5.4% had never worked, the report added. The figures come despite UK unemployment falling to its lowest level since 1975 in the three months to October 2019.

Laura Gardiner, from the Resolution Foundation, said: “The rising number of people who have never had a paid job has been driven by the death of the teenage Saturday job and a wider turn away from earning while learning.” There had also been a sharp fall in the employment rate of students in further and higher education. while people were taking longer to find a job after leaving full-time education, the report found. “With young people today expected to end their working lives at a later age than previous generations, it’s understandable that they want to start their working lives at a later age too,” Ms Gardiner added. “But this lack of work experience can create longer-term problems, particularly if they hit other life milestones like motherhood or ill-health before their careers have got off the ground.”


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