A REPORT yesterday by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) warns that up to 350,000 youth aged between 19 to 24 face being thrown out of work and ‘scarred by recession for years to come’ as the Tory furlough scheme is wound down and finally ended in October.
The IFS says this age group saw the biggest increase of any in the numbers not working any hours, including those who are furloughed.
The number rose by 25 per cent, or around 400,000 people, from the last quarter of 2019 to the first quarter of 2021 – a much higher increase than those seen in older age groups.
The IFS also found that while the majority of jobs for young people have so far been ‘saved’ by the furlough scheme, with only 50,000 extra 19-24 year olds without any job at all at the start of 2021, this leaves youth especially vulnerable as furlough ends.
On top of facing hundreds of thousands of jobs disappearing for young people once furlough ends and companies being forced to pay their wages out of their own pockets, the IFS found that youth who did manage to work during the pandemic earned substantially less than they did before.
The report says: ‘Earnings growth among younger employees (aged 19–34) who have continued to work has been lower than prior to the pandemic. This may not have large immediate consequences, but if this ground is not regained then the longer-term effects on their incomes will be significant.’
In other words, young workers who have had their pay cut during the pandemic can expect poverty level wages to become a permanent feature of their lives forever – if they are able to find any work at all!
In fact, the IFS found that the main reason their research failed to find evidence of any large increase in deprivation amongst young people during the pandemic was down to their increased reliance on parental support.
The number of young people in the age bracket forced to live at home has increased to 71%, including students returning during universities and college closures.
This is the future bankrupt British capitalism holds for workers and youth who have borne the brunt of unemployment and wage cutting throughout the pandemic – and when the Tories force a reopening of the economy they will face more of the same but on a massively increased scale.
Workers face a wage cutting hell of fire and re-hire from bosses determined to squeeze the maximum profit from them, while youth face a future of unemployment or poverty level wages in the gig economy.
The Trade Unions Congress has been well aware of this impending threat of mass unemployment especially amongst youth.
In March it released an analysis showing that since January 2020 the number of youth under 25 in work dropped by 450,000 – but all the TUC called for was for the Tories to extend furlough and ‘invest’ in careers advice to avoid a ‘left behind generation’.
Youth are not being left behind, on the contrary they are today in the forefront of the struggle by the working class against a Tory government determined to inflict mass unemployment and wage cutting to rescue the profits of the bosses and bankers and keep bankrupt capitalism from collapse.
There is only one way out of the crisis that the bosses are imposing on workers and youth.
Workers and youth must unite in every area to establish Councils of Action that will fight for every job and smash the wage-cutting fire and re-hire offensive of the bosses.
They must force the TUC to organise a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government that will nationalise the banks and major industries, without compensation, and place them under the management of the working class as part of building a socialist planned economy.
Those TUC leaders who refuse to fight must be removed and replaced by a new leadership that is prepared to lead the struggle for power.
Only the WRP fights to build the revolutionary leadership required – join today!