Type of employment opportunities for young people
Data on the occupational level of 22 to 29 year olds in the UK, from 2014 to 2021.
Summary main findings
From 2014 to 2021, the percentage of 22 to 29 year olds in professional and managerial jobs went up from 38% to 44%.
The percentage in working class jobs went down from 41% to 33%. This was mainly due to the percentage in skilled manual work (‘higher working class’) going down from 25% to 17%.
Visualisation for by year
Percentage of 22 to 29 year olds in each of the 5 occupational classes, over time (UK, 2014 to 2021)
Click or tap on legend items to toggle visibility
Data for by year
|Year||Lower working (%)||Higher working (%)||Intermediate (%)||Lower professional (%)||Higher professional (%)|
Visualisation for by area
Percentage of 22 to 29 year olds in the higher professional and lower working occupations, by area (UK, 2018 to 2021 combined)
41 regions in the UK are ranked from the lowest to highest percentages. They are then divided into 5 equally-sized groups (‘quintiles’), from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).
The regional estimates have a large margin of error – do not rank or compare specific regions.
The lines either side of the dots represent confidence intervals – the range of values that the 'true' value for each region is highly likely to be within. In many cases the confidence intervals overlap. This suggests differences between specific regions may not be statistically significant.
See the composite indices for more precise estimates and to understand overall regional patterns.
Data for by area
|Region||Lower working (%)||Higher professional (%)|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||21.7||14.8|
|Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire||18.3||15.1|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||24.8||12.3|
|Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire||24.9||11.3|
|Dorset and Somerset||20.8||17.9|
|East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire||26.4||11.7|
|Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bath/Bristol area||18.9||11.2|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||19.1||15.2|
|Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire||21.6||13.2|
|Highlands and Islands||32.2||8.2|
|Inner London - East||25.9||13.2|
|Inner London - West||31.2||18.7|
|Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire||17.8||13.4|
|North Eastern Scotland||22.3||11.8|
|Northumberland and Tyne and Wear||28.0||8.7|
|Outer London - East and North East||22.2||15.1|
|Outer London - South||23.6||13.7|
|Outer London - West and North West||26.3||11.2|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||24.4||11.5|
|Surrey, East and West Sussex||18.5||17.2|
|Tees Valley and Durham||25.7||8.4|
|West Central Scotland||28.6||10.2|
|West Wales and The Valleys||26.2||11.4|
Office for National Statistics, Labour Force Survey
2014 to 2021
What the data measures
The data shows the occupation level of 22 to 29 year olds in the UK between 2014 and 2021. It also shows data by region.
Regions are based on where the people surveyed lived when they were growing up.
Rates are rounded to 1 decimal place.
Things you need to know
The 5 social classes shown here are based on the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) as follows:
- NS-SEC level 1: higher professional
- NS-SEC level 2: lower professional
- NS-SEC levels 3 and 4: intermediate
- NS-SEC levels 5 and 6: higher working class
- NS-SEC levels 7 and 8: lower working class
Data is weighted using LFS probability weights.
A formal statistical test shows that, compared with 2014, access to the higher professional class has become significantly different since 2018.
Type of data
Read more in State of the Nation 2023 on GOV.UK.
This file contains the following variables:
- Indicator code
- Indicator name
- Area type
- Area code
- Area name
- Time period
- Socio-economic background
- Category type
- Sample size
- Lower confidence interval
- Upper confidence interval
- Standard error