Labour Research (February 2012)


Unemployment continues to rise

Unemployment rose by 118,000 in the three months to November to 2.69 million, official figures show. The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate also rose to 8.4% from 8.1%, the highest rate since January 1996.

Unemployment was up by 59,000 for both men and women. However, the number of women was at its highest level since December 1987 at 1.13 million. Their unemployment rate was up to 7.7% from 7.3% — the highest rate for 17 years.

The number of unemployed men stood at 1.56 million — a 9.1% unemployment rate.

There was a record 1.04 million young people without a job in the three months to November, taking the unemployment rate in the 16- 24-year-old age group to 22.3%.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber called on the government to put forward bold solutions, “starting with a job guarantee for any young person out of work for six months”.

In December, the claimant count — the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance — rose by 1,200 to 1.6 million.

The number of male claimants fell slightly to 1.07 million, but their joblessness rate was stuck at 6.1%. Women benefit claimants rose to over 531,000, but their joblessness rate remained at 3.6%.

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