A new study has revealed that almost a third of all jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants in Britain are aged between 18 and 24 after a big increase in recent months.
The study was carried out based on official data provided by charity Barnardo's, the daily the Independent reported.
It showed the number of JSA claimants in the age group jumped by almost 40,000 to more than 408,000 between last November and February.
The charity said the figures, covering England, Scotland and Wales, revealed a "ticking time-bomb of a lost generation" of young people.
“Across all regions, 18 to 24-year-olds now make up around 30 percent of all claimants”, said Barnardo's.
The biggest increase in claimants in this age group was registered in Scotland with a jump of 5,200, followed by the North West (4,570), the South East (4,020), Yorkshire & the Humber (3,880) and the West Midlands (3,740).
"Today's bleak statistics confirm what we already suspected - that high numbers of young people in areas like London and the North East are severely affected by joblessness and poverty which continue to dominate life chances”, said Barnardo's chief executive Anne Marie Carrie.
"Barnardo's works with the most vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds and we know that they are struggling to get access to alternatives to mainstream education, apprenticeships or training, all vital to equip them with the skills and confidence to enter the toughest labour market since the 1980s”, added Marie Carrie.
"We risk losing an entire generation to long-term cycles of unemployment and a stagnant society if concerted action by Government, local authorities and employers to tackle lack of jobs in the worst hit areas is not taken", she said.