Labour Research March 2012


Jobless queues get even longer

The jobless queues continue to lengthen, official figures show. Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment rose by 48,000 in the final quarter of 2012 to 2.67 million.

The Office for National Statistics said the unemployment rate also rose to 8.4% from 8.1%.

The number of unemployed women climbed 32,000 to 1.12 million and their unemployment rate was up to 7.7% from 7.5% — the highest rate for 17 years.The number of unemployed men rose by 16,000 to 1.56 million — a 9.0% unemployment rate.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Tackling this crisis should be the government’s number one priority.”

A TUC report said that in addition, nearly two million people are being forced to take low-paid, insecure, short hours jobs because of the lack of proper full-time employment. This means people are taking home much less pay, putting a real strain on family budgets.

At the beginning of 2012, the other main jobless measure — the claimant count or the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance — rose by 6,900 to over 1.6 million.

The number of male claimants increased to 1.07 million in January, but their joblessness rate was steady at 6.1%. Women benefit claimants rose to 531,700, but their joblessness rate remained at 3.6%.