To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the economic cost of youth unemployment in the latest year for which figures are available.
Since 1997, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobseeker's allowance has fallen by two fifths and those with six months plus durations is down by more than 75 per cent. This has contributed to a £5 billion fall in the cost of unemployment-related benefits compared to a decade ago.
The number of young people staying on in education has continued to rise since 1997 and the Government are planning to raise the learning participation age to 18. In addition, through policies such as New Deal, the Government has sought to improve labour market outcomes for all those who can face problems in finding and progressing in work, including young people.