UK unemployment rises

Feb 16, 2011 12:00 AM

A record number of 16 to 24-year-olds are out of work and more people than ever are in part-time jobs because they can't find full-time employment, a grim set of official figures has revealed.
Unemployment jumped by 44,000 in the final 3 months of 2010 to just under 2.5 million, a jobless rate of 7.9%. But the youth unemployment rate is now 20.5% following a 66,000 increase to 965,000, the highest figures since records began in 1992.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 2,400 in January to 1.46 million, with the number of female claimants rising for the seventh month in a row to reach almost 450,000, the highest figure since 1996.
The number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time jobs increased by 44,000 to 1.19 million, the highest total since records began in 1992.
The number of people classed as economically inactive rose by 93,000 over the latest quarter to 9.36 million, a rate of 23.4%, including 1.57 million who retired before the age of 65, the highest figure since records began in 1993.
There was a 68,000 fall in employment, down to 29.12 million, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
Public sector employment fell by 33,000 to 6 million in the quarter to September 2010, while the number of people in private firms was unchanged at 23.1 million. The number of jobs fell by 170,000 in the year to last September to 30 million.

Long-term unemployment is getting worse, with an increase of 17,000 in the number of people out of work for over a year, to 833,000. Average earnings increased by 1.8% in the year to December, down by 0.3% on the previous month, giving average weekly pay of £430.
Work and Pensions Minister Chris Grayling said: “It's been a difficult few months in the labour market but things do now seem to be stabilising. The rise in the number of vacancies is particularly encouraging. The challenge for us now is to push ahead with our welfare reforms as quickly as possible so we start to move more people off benefits to take advantage of those vacancies.

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