The number of working teenagers has almost halved in the last 20 years, a study suggests, sparking fears of the “death of the Saturday job”.
A Resolution Foundation report suggests a quarter of 16 and 17-year-olds were in work between 2017 and 2019 – falling from 48% in 1997-99.
Young people were instead prioritising studies over part-time work, it added.
The think tank says the number of people who have never worked increased by 52% over the last 20 years.
The report says 8.2% of people aged 16-64 – some 3.4 million people in total – had never had a paid job. That is a 52% increase since 1998 when 5.4% had never worked, the report added.
The figures come despite UK unemployment falling to its lowest level since 1975 in the three months to October 2019.
Laura Gardiner, from the Resolution Foundation, said: “The rising number of people who have never had a paid job has been driven by the death of the teenage Saturday job and a wider turn away from earning while learning.”
There had also been a sharp fall in the employment rate of students in further and higher education. while people were taking longer to find a job after leaving full-time education, the report found.