More worrying news as unemployment continues to rise

Press Releases

16 Feb 2011

There was more worrying news in the latest release from the Office for National Statistics. The number of people in work fell by 68,000 in the period October to December, while unemployment grew by 44,000 on the broader ILO measure, and by 2,400 on the claimant count in January.

Inactivity was also up, by 93,000, driven in large part by a growing trend in early retirement which rose by 49,000.

Nigel Meager, Director of the Institute for Employment Studies commented on the latest figures

‘The latest figures suggest yet again that any recovery in the private sector is still to weak to offset the intensifying job loss in the public sector. Overall employment levels continued to fall, while unemployment was up again. Public sector redundancies are already running at 40 per cent more than a year ago, and the recent spate of redundancy warnings means that this is bound to accelerate.’

Mr Meager continued

‘The figures again show the challenges faced by some groups of jobseekers. Long-term unemployment continues to rise, with 833,000 now out of work for more than a year. The number of unemployed young people also rose again and has reached 965,000, the highest figure since comparable data were collected. Young people have been severely affected by the continuing low level of vacancies and the difficulties they face in competing with more experienced job-seekers. The disappearance of government programmes to help young unemployed, and the removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance, which encourages young people to remain in further education, will not have helped the situation. Being unemployed in their teens or twenties has a impact on young people's entire working life, and policy-makers cannot afford to neglect this.’