Youth unemployment is now “the major concern” when it comes to the number of people out of work in the UK, according to statistics released this week.

The verdict was given by The Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion in their Labour Market Analysis for November 2013.

According to the report, labour market figures published this week are good – but this masks the picture when it comes to employment rates among 16 to 24-year-olds.

The report reads: “The major concern is that youth unemployment rates are not sharing the improvements that are seen for the unemployment rates of older people.

“Youth unemployment rates have been broadly rising since September 2012, while those for people aged between 25 and 49 have been falling, with the exception of a few months, since October 2011, and the 50-64s year olds’ unemployment rates have been falling since May this year.

“The proportion of unemployed young people (not counting students) who are not claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and therefore are not receiving official help with job search has risen by 15 percentage points since October 2012, when the new Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions regime started.” 

Street League is the national charity which uses football to tackle youth unemployment across the UK. For every five graduates from the Street League Academy programme, two get jobs and two move into education or training.

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, Chief Executive of the charity, said: “This report underlines our concern that the truth about youth unemployment is all too often being obscured by headlines about unemployment in general.

“It is essential that we keep youth unemployment high on the agenda. The scarring effects of long-term unemployment on a young person can have serious consequences for the rest of their life, and that is why Street League is committed to helping as many young people as possible to develop the key skills required to get into work, and stay in work.”