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Majority of young workers have been furloughed, but biggest rise in unemployment among older workers

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The Demographics of #Furlough and Claimant Counts: Shedding Light on the Labour Market #LMI 

This is the second in a regular fortnightly series we are running with Emsi, the Labour Market Insight specialists, whereby they take a look at interesting trends and developments in the labour market, particularly those that are directly connected with the ongoing disruption in the economy.

Over the past few months, we’ve been trying to build up a picture of what is happening in the labour market by taking Government data releases, and drilling down into the details to find the sorts of granular insights that can offer us some clues as to what is taking place. For example, we recently looked at Furlough by sector and Claimant Counts in terms of local geographies, but another way we can look at this data is through the lens of age and sex.

Beginning with Furlough, the interactive chart below looks at the percentage of eligible employments that were furloughed, up to the end of July, which is the latest data available. What we’ve done is to break this down into age and sex demographics, and there are a number of main points that the data brings out:

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  • The percentage of males on furlough was higher than the percentage of females in every age group bar one, and in most categories it was at least 5% more.
  • The one group which had a higher proportion of females on furlough was 16-17 year-olds, although the actual numbers in this bracket are obviously far smaller than any of the others.
  • Those in the younger age groups were much more likely to be furloughed, with 63% of all 16-17 year-olds and 45% of all 18-24 year-olds on the scheme.

Moving on to Claimant Counts, again we’ve put together an interactive chart below, which splits the data in terms of age and sex to look at the percentage increase in numbers since the start of the year, through to August. There are a number of points of interest highlighted in the chart:

  • In terms of differences between the sexes, the most significant rises have been for males. To put this into an overall context, whilst total Claimant Counts for both sexes have risen by 124%, the increase for males has been 130% compared to 116% for females.
  • The most significant increases in terms of age have been 25-29 year-old males (rise of 152%), 30-34 year-old males (147%), and 18-24 year-old females (141%).
  • The age groups with the lowest increases are 16-17 year-olds (although the numbers are very small in comparison with the others), and 60-64 year-olds.

Watch out for the next piece in this regular series on 21st October.

To find out more about how the crisis is affecting your local area, contact Emsi for more info.

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