Research Shows Alarming Rise in Economic Inactivity Among 18–24-Year-Olds Due to Ill-Health

Research Shows Alarming Rise in Economic Inactivity Among 18–24-Year-Olds Due to Ill-Health

…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media. New research reveals that economic inactivity among 18 to 24-year-olds due to ill-health has nearly doubled in the past decade.


The Resolution Foundation reports that a majority of these young people are facing difficulties with their education.

Approximately four out of five individuals who are too ill to work have qualifications at GCSE-level or below.

This concerning trend has largely gone unnoticed.

Low Overall Worklessness Among Young People

The study, funded by the Health Foundation, points out that the overall levels of worklessness among young people are currently low.

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As of early 2023, the number of young people not in education, employment, or training (Neet) stood at 720,000, which is lower than the peak after the financial crisis, reaching 1.1 million.

However, the report highlights a significant increase in the number of young people who are unable to work due to ill-health.


This figure has almost doubled from 94,000 in 2012 to 185,000 in 2022.

Rise in Worklessness Due to Ill-Health

The study reveals that nearly one in four young people who are workless are inactive because of ill-health.

This represents a significant increase from less than one in ten in 2012.

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The Resolution Foundation argues that policymakers have primarily focused on addressing rising ill-health among older workers, while this concerning rise among young people has been overlooked.

Linking Education and Worklessness

The think tank emphasizes that worklessness due to ill-health among young people is most prevalent in small towns and villages.

However, this phenomenon is more closely linked to the low levels of education among these individuals rather than the nature of their geographical location.

The study underscores the protective effect that education can have on young people’s ability to access mental health support and succeed in the labor market.

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The Need for Improved Education and Mental Health Support

The Resolution Foundation urges attention to be directed towards addressing the issue of young people who are unable to work due to health problems.


The spokesperson, Louise Murphy, emphasizes the importance of improving education opportunities and ensuring access to better mental health support.

It is crucial not to let these young individuals fall behind, highlighting the need for a comprehensive approach to support their educational development and well-being.

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