The proportion of people of working age who have never been in a job has increased by 50% over the past two decades, a new study suggests.
According to think tank Resolution Foundation, 8.2% of people aged 16-64 in the UK today (3.4 million in total) have never had a paid job.
This is a 50% increase since 1998 when 5.4% had never worked.
Its report said the employment rate of 16 to 17-year-olds has virtually halved over the past two decades – from 48.1% in 1997-99 to 25.4% in 2017-19.
Two-thirds of the fall is driven by a declining employment rate among 16 to 17-year-olds at school or college, it was indicated.
Laura Gardiner, research director at the Resolution Foundation, said: "More and more of us are now working, with employment hitting record highs and worklessness hitting record lows.
"But despite this, around one in 12 working-age adults have never worked a day in their lives – a 50% increase since the late 1990s.
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"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.
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