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Prior to becoming a Member of Parliament, Jonathan Young worked in Waitakere City (West Auckland) for 20 years as a Minister where he led a multi-cultural community of people from many different ages, backgrounds and vocations. This work gave him a thorough understanding on the issues facing New Zealanders from all walks of life. Over the years Jonathan also worked in the fields of financial administration, software programming, property management, design and publishing journals and magazines. He started his working life as a teacher and has a strong commitment towards the opportunities education creates for people. As part of his former work, Jonathan developed links in Cambodia and has contributed to the development of Cambodian communities through his own involvement and the sponsorship of New Zealanders working in that country.

Jonathan is born and raised in Taranaki; originally on a farm at Otakeo, South Taranaki; but he also spent time growing up in Hawera and New Plymouth. Having commenced his high school education at New Plymouth Boys' High School, he completed it at Hawera High School. After graduating from Palmerston North Teachers' College in 1977, he returned to South Taranaki as a teacher. Jonathan returned to New Plymouth in 2008 after leaving Taranaki as a 25 year old, then living in Tauranga for three years and West Auckland for 22.

Jonathan enjoys sport - notably rugby, swimming, tennis and squash. He has an appreciation of the arts and enjoys writing.