Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Unemployment now at its highest since 1994

The latest unemployment figures have just been released this morning with the Total number of jobless hitting 17-year high of 2.6m.

Those people claiming the dole soared by 5,300 last month to 1.6m and youth unemployment has now breached the million mark.

8.3 per cent of the economically active population are now out of work in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of people without a job on the wider ILO measure grew by 129,000 in the three months to September to 2.62 million -- the highest level since July-September 1994.

The number of young people out of work ticked up to 1.016 million, rising above the politically sensitive 1 million mark for the first time since comparable records began in 1992 and taking the unemployment rate among eligible 16- to 24-year-olds to 21.9 percent.

Speaking to Sky News soon after the figures were announced,Employment Minister Chris Grayling put the figures in the context of the eurozone crisis:

He told Jeff Randle "Our economy now is growing as fast as any in Europe, growing by 0.5%. We have got a big challenge. The Governor of the Bank of England described these as the most dangerous economic times potentially of modern times and that is bound to have an impact on our economy."

He also said that the youth unemployment figure was misleading: "The true figure is just over 700,000 as we have just over 300,000 full time students who show up in the figures".

However Carmen Watson, Managing Director of Pertemps Recruitment Partnership, said,

We are in danger of seeing an entire generation of young people that is falling through the holes in the system designed to create employment. It may be too early to expect to see the results of the Government’s Work Programme, which was introduced earlier this year, but in the meantime, thousands more young people are becoming disaffected by the harsh and challenging conditions we’re seeing in the job market.

Ed Miliband MP, said during a visit to Liebherr Cranes in Sunderland today that:

This is a terrible day for Britain with the news that the number of young people who cannot find work has risen over one million.

"Instead of blaming everyone else and trying to find excuses in the eurozone, the Government should recognise that the British economy has been flatlining for a year - long before this recent crisis began.

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