While data this morning from Britain’s Office National Statistics showed that the country’s overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at about 7.9 percent in November, the report revealed something quite unsettling – joblessness among youth jumped to a record high of almost 1-million.

The number of jobless Britons between the ages of 16 and 24 leapt by 32,000 to 951,000, or 20.3 per cent of the workforce, the highest such level since current records began in 1992, according to the ONS.
This means that about one in five of British youth is now unemployed.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) warned: “These grim jobless figures show that rising unemployment is more than an autumn blip, and that it could get much worse in 2011. With more than a fifth of young people out of work, we face a real danger of losing another generation of young people to unemployment and wasted ambition.”

The data comes on the heels of data from Italy showing that 20 percent of that country’s youth is either out of work or not in school

“Youth unemployment is like a dripping tap, costing tens of millions of pounds a week through benefits and lost productivity” said Paul Brown, director, youth charity of The Prince’s Trust.

“And, just like a dripping tap, if we don’t do something to fix it, it’s likely to get much worse. It’s now crucial to give young people the support they need to prevent them from falling into the downward spiral of long-term joblessness. Transforming these young lives will have a huge impact on their families, communities as well as on Britain’s economy.”