Stat of the Week Winner: August 6-12 2011
Thanks to all who added nominations for our first Stat of the Week competition. The nominations were all fascinating for a variety of reasons and much could be written about each of them. We’ve chosen Eric Crampton’s nomination of John Pagani’s heated blog post on youth unemployment:
In the midst of extensive discussion of the rise in youth unemployment starting around Q4 2008, Pagani points to changes in apprenticeship funding as a policy shift that could have generated the change (arguing against changes in the youth minimum wage as having been the cause). He writes:
“If it wasn’t the removal of the youth minimum wage that caused youth unemployment to increase, then it would have to have been caused by something else that happened around the same time.
One other big change was the a sharp fall in young people getting skills for work.
In December 2008 there were 133,300 people in industry training. By the end of last year, there were 108,000. ”
You could be forgiven for assuming that about 25,000 kids had been kicked out of apprenticeships – it sure looks like he’s referring to youths. All the other discussion is on youth unemployment. But the number he’s citing is overall enrolment in training and apprenticeships. And the drop in youth enrolment in training – about 4,000 – is nowhere near large enough to provide a plausible alternative explanation.