Stacking shelves, staffing the tills and delivering newspapers have long been ways for teenagers to earn extra money.

But new research shows the number of young people working has almost halved in the last 20 years, sparking fears of the death of the Saturday job. 

A Resolution Foundation study suggests a quarter of 16 and 17-year-olds were in work between 2017 and 2019 - falling from 48% in 1997-99.

When asked why, young people said they were prioritising studies over part-time work. 

The think tank says the number of people who have never worked increased by 52% over the last 20 years.

The report says 8.2% of people aged 16-64 - some 3.4 million people in total - had never had a paid job. That is a 52% increase since 1998 when 5.4% had never worked, the report added.

The figures come despite UK unemployment falling to its lowest level since 1975 in the three months to October 2019.

Laura Gardiner, from the Resolution Foundation, told the BBC: "The rising number of people who have never had a paid job has been driven by the death of the teenage Saturday job and a wider turn away from earning while learning."

This comes after a study, carried out by Barclay's last year, found that 44% of young people said they didn't have to work because they received an allowance or income elsewhere such as pocket money from parents.

And 44% said they needed to focus on their school work rather than paid work.

A fifth (21%) of those who were working said they choose to do so online because there is a shortage of traditional jobs in their area, and a further 19% say it allows them to be more entrepreneurial.

Kirstie Mackey, head of LifeSkills, which equips people with business skills, said: “The nature of part-time jobs may have changed from 30 or 40 years ago, but they remain a crucial way for young people to strike out on their own and gain the valuable skills and experience they will need for the rest of their working lives.”

Baroness Karren Brady, chair of the LifeSkills Advisory Council, said: “Finding a job alongside school or college isn’t as simple as it was in the past, but the opportunities out there are evolving quickly.”