Health and youth unemployment

Funded by: Department of Health


September 1998 to January 2000

PSI researchers:

Background, summary and aims


The New Deal for Young People (NDYP) is an important part of the Government's welfare-to-work strategy. The first of the New Deals announced by the new Labour Government, it was rolled out nationally in April 1998 following a four-month trial period in twelve Pathfinder areas. Funded from the windfall tax on utilities, it aims to help young unemployed people into jobs and increase their long-term employability 'thereby making a positive contribution to sustainable levels of employment' (Employment Service, 1998). The target group are 18-24 year olds who have been claiming unemployment benefits for six months or more, plus others in the same group with shorter unemployment spells who are deemed special cases worthy of earlier assistance. Participation in the programme is compulsory for the target group, in the sense that failure to participate results in benefit sanctions. The project will assess the impact of the New Deal on the health of 18-24 year old participants.

Study Design

A review of the literature on links between labour market status and health, focusing on young unemployed people, has already been completed. Further stages of the project consist of descriptive and multivariate analysis of data from a longitudinal survey of c.6000 participants in the New Deal for Young People. The survey provides information on the general health, psychological well-being and psycho-social functioning of young New Deal participants as well as information about other background characteristics and experience in the labour market and on New Deal.