Key Findings – Tables
As outlined in the September labour market monthly briefing, unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds was at 14.5%, compared with 4.6% for working age population.
Further outlined by the Labour Market Monthly Briefing: February 2021
for the period October to December 2020, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds in Scotland was 9.7%, compared with 3.5% for 25-34 year olds and 3.7% for 35-49 year olds. Whereas the overall unemployment rate rise (16+) over the year to Oct-Dec 20 was 1 percentage point, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds rose by 2 percentage points over the same period.
Employees aged under 25 were about two and a half times more likely to work in a sector that is now shut down as other employees. 
Sectors that shut down as a result of social distancing measures employed nearly a third (30%) of all employees under the age of 25 (25% of young men and 36% of young women).4
The Resolution Foundation have found a ‘disproportionate impact of the coronavirus crisis on the youngest and oldest earners’: 9% of 18-24 year olds have lost their job (compared to 3% of all employees) and 24% have been placed on furlough (compared to 15% of all employees).
Young people who have recently left education and have recently entered, or are about to enter, the labour market are more susceptible to long-term unemployment and pay scarring. Individuals in employment and education make up large numbers of employees in sectors which have been hardest hit.
Impacts from previous recession:
- When demand is low, this shows up in inactivity as much as in unemployment (that is, people drop out of the labour market entirely).
- Young people have difficulty entering the labour market and, if they are in jobs, they are (most) likely to lose them.
- Older people are encouraged to take early retirement while those who lose their jobs find it particularly hard to re-enter work.
- Older and younger people can be “scarred‟ (the implications of failing to enter work smoothly or being obliged to leave the labour market entirely are long term and not merely short term).
There is also evidence of direct discrimination during applicant shortlisting, with correspondence studies identifying unequal outcomes on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation, as well as for women during pregnancy, maternity and when returning to work after time out for caring.
In 2019, the employment rate for those classed as disabled under the Equality Act 2010 was 49.0 percent, which was significantly lower than the employment rate for non-disabled people (81.6 per cent). 
In 2019, the disability employment gap was 32.6 per cent.8
Disability employment gap across 16-24 year olds in 2019:
- Men - 22.3%
- Women – 16.1%
- All – 18.8
It is widely acknowledged that disabled people and those with ASN often have lower levels of qualifications and poorer employment outcomes than the general population.
Evidence indicated that disabled people have indicated that they want to be able to access the right support, at the right time, to develop the skills to enter fair work, and greater engagement with parents, carers and education providers to enhance the career aspirations of disabled young people.
Before the last recession, the wage gap between disabled and non-disabled people had narrowed, but following the recession, the wage gap had widened and struggled to get back to its pre-recession level.
The recession also affected activity rates with a fall in these for disabled people as a result of the recession.
- Occupational segregation, where gender norms and stereotyping about women’s and men’s capabilities and preferences results in women and men doing different types of work;
- A lack of quality part-time and flexible working which results in women’s under-representation at management level and in senior grades, and their concentration in lower grades;
- The undervaluation of “women’s work” such as care, admin, cleaning and retail;
- Women’s disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work, and the length of time women have worked part-time in order to combine their caring roles with employment;
- Biased and un-transparent recruitment, development and progression practices;
- Discrimination embedded within pay and grading systems, which results in women being paid less than men for doing equal work.
Employed women are more likely than employed men to work in sectors more likely to be shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic (as well as being more likely to be key workers).
If more women are to be encouraged to view STEM careers as an attractive option, teachers, careers advisors, work experiences and families need to do more to counter gender differences from an early age.
Previous recessions have (initially) tended to drive down levels of employment in sectors typically dominated by men. Hence the (initial) rate of job loss has been greater for men.
Women were more likely to be employed in less cyclically sensitive occupations and so were relatively protected from unemployment, but where women were employed in male-dominated sectors, they were often the first to be dismissed.
Close the Gap’s research on the impact of Covid-19 on women’s labour market equality also noted that women in low-paid jobs will be particularly affected by job disruption. Women are also affected due to a need for unpaid care, and that they are less likely to do a job that can be done from home.
Pregnancy and maternity
Young mothers are significantly more likely to experience pregnancy and maternity discrimination, with six times as many under 25 year olds than average reporting being dismissed from their jobs after they tell their employer they are pregnant
Compared to mothers aged 25 and over, those aged under 20 were less likely to have a qualification at Higher grade or above (17% vs. 80%) or to be employed (21% vs. 83%), and more likely to be in the lowest income quintile (72% vs. 12%) and to live in the most deprived areas.
While mothers aged 20-24 were found to be relatively advantaged when compared with their younger counterparts, they too are still at a significant disadvantage when compared with older parents (50% had a qualification at Higher grade or above, 55% were employed and 40% had a household income in the lowest quintile).”
The Scottish Transgender Alliance observes that the workplace is one of the most likely locations for transphobic discrimination and harassment to occur, and as a result many Transgender people are unemployed, under-employed or self-employed.
In an online survey of Transgender people in the UK in April 2011, employment was identified as being the second top area of concern for the Transgender community, with around a third (31%) of respondents selecting it as their priority. Difficulty in gaining and retaining employment was considered the most important challenge that Transgender people face, with two-thirds of respondents (66%) identifying it as the most important challenge.
The available evidence presents a mixed, and sometimes contradictory, picture of the employment outcomes of LGBO individuals:
- LGBO adults were more likely to be unemployed in 2015 than heterosexual adults. The unemployment rate of LGBO individuals was three times higher than the rate for heterosexual adults (11% and 3% respectively).
- LBGO adults were also less likely to be employed – only 53 per cent were in employment compared to 57% of heterosexual adults.
- Sexual Orientation in Scotland acknowledge that some research contrasts with the statistics described above, and that LGB men and women do no differ from heterosexual people in relation to employment, or show better outcomes. For example, some research indicates that LGB people may have similar rates of employment to heterosexual people. People in same sex couple households were shown to be more likely to hold professional, administration or managerial jobs (59%) than heterosexual men (40%) or heterosexual women (37%) in 2004/05.
Race and ethnicity
The poverty rate was 39% for the 'Asian or Asian British' ethnic groups, and 38% for 'Mixed, Black or Black British and Other' ethnic groups.
The poverty rate amongst the 'White - Other' group was 25% (80,000 people) and that of the 'White - British' group was 18% (860,000 people).
This analysis doesn't take into account differences in the age profiles of the ethnic groups and younger people generally have a higher poverty rating.
While more than half of those furloughed during lockdown had returned to work by September, 9 per cent of those previously furloughed had lost their jobs. This rate was highest for 18-24-year-old young people from minority ethnic and racial background workers, and the low paid.
COVID in Colour (Intercultural Youth Scotland report – 63 Black and POC respondents to ):
- 45% feel that they have less opportunities than their white counterparts and that this disparate access to life opportunities has been highlighted by the impact of the pandemic.
- 59% reported that the lockdown has affected their motivation and crippled their ability to progress with school work
- 57% have expressed concerns about their family or guardian losing their jobs and struggling financially
- 55% aged 15-18 stated that they did not have a backup plan in case they do not receive the grades they expect.
- The unexpected cancellation of exams due to Covid-19 is especially troubling given that more than half of the respondents (55%) aged 15-18 stated that they did not have a backup plan in case they do not receive the grades they expect.
The employment rate for the minority ethnic population aged 16 to 64 was 59.3 per cent. This is lower than the rate for white population (75.7 per cent) giving a gap in employment rates between individual from minority ethnic and racial backgrounds and white of 16.4 percentage points.
26The gap in the employment rate for the minority ethnic population was largest for ages 16 to 24 (26.1 percentage points)
In addition, as per Scottish Government publication:
4% of White people were unemployed in 2019, compared with 7% of people from all other ethnic groups combined.
Black, and Bangladeshi and Pakistani people had the highest unemployment rate out of all ethnic groups (8%) with the White Other ethnic group having the lowest unemployment rate (3%)
27In every region in England and in Scotland, unemployment rates were lower for White people than for all other ethnic groups combined.
Religion or belief
Some religious groups are at a higher risk of poverty than other groups. The latest statistics for Scotland find that Muslim adults were the group at highest risk of relative poverty and there are indications that this is the case after controlling for ethnicity. Muslims in Scotland were also the religious group least likely to be in employment.
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