But as with overall unemployment, youth unemployment is concentrated in a few cities. The table below shows the top and bottom ten cities for the number of young people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance. In Grimsby, almost one in ten young people are claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance. And Middlesbrough follows close behind. Grimsby has also seen the second largest percentage point increase in the number of youth claimants since the onset of the recession.
At the other end of the table it is cities such as Aberdeen, Reading and Cambridge that have the lowest youth claimant rates. They have also seen some of the lowest increases in the number of young people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance.
Not only have these cities got low levels of unemployed young people, our recent publication Cities Outlook showed that they are also likely to be insulated from the coming public sector job cuts.
The bad news is that Middlesbrough, Hull, Sunderland and Newport, four cities that have some of the highest youth claimant count rates, are extremely vulnerable to public sector job losses. So the labour markets in these cities could deteriorate further in the coming years. This is likely to compound the already high levels of youth unemployment in these economies.
For the providers of the forthcoming Work Programme (the Coalition’s new approach to welfare to work) this will cause a considerable headache in these cities. They have the unenviable task of getting these young people into work when opportunities may be limited.