Youth unemployment & cuts to Jobseeker's Allowance in Budget 2014

The rationale for the change to Jobseeker’s Allowance announced in Budget 2014 is examined in this inBrief. The recent adjustment sought to incentivise young people to take up training or employment opportunities by reducing the weekly rate payable under the scheme to new applicants aged between 22 and 24 years old.

The data suggest young people are not particularly susceptible to remaining in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance on a long-term basis. Looking at a recent evaluation of FÁS/Solas training schemes shows that prior to the recent incentivisation measure young people were willingly participating in training, with most still unable to find work upon finishing their course. The absence of jobs, not motivation, is the central issue for young people looking for work.

Key points

• Jobseeker’s Allowance is 30 percent lower for new entrants aged 22-24 and 23 per cent lower for those aged 25.
• The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform estimate that €32 million will be saved by the measure over the course of 2014
• The options for young people seeking work are severely limited. Only 36 percent in the 15-24 had found employment in the 12 month period following successful completion of full-time training provided by FÁS

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