Record rise hits jobless total

Author: By Alan Jones, Press Association

The figure rose by 281,000 in the three months to May, the biggest quarterly
increase on record, taking the total to 2.38 million, the highest since

The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance increased by 23,800 in
June to 1.56 million, the worst total since Labour came to power in 1997.

The so-called claimant count has now increased for 16 months in a row and is
over 700,000 higher than a year ago.

Youth unemployment has jumped to a 16-year high of 726,000 after a quarterly
rise of 95,000, while the number of people out of work for longer than a
year rose by 46,000 to 528,000, the highest for 11 years.

Meanwhile the number of people in work fell by 269,000 in the latest quarter
to 29 million after a record fall of 0.9 per cent in the employment rate to
72.9 per cent.

More than 300,000 people were made redundant in the three months to May, the
second highest figure on record, and a rise of 31,000 on the previous

Other data from the Office for National Statistics showed that vacancies fell
to a record low of 429,000 in the three months to June, down by 35,000 from
the previous quarter.

Manufacturing jobs continued to fall, down by 201,000 over the past year to a
record low of 2.6 million.

Average earnings increased by 2.3 per cent in the year to May, up by 1.4 per
cent on the previous month.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including those on long
term sick leave or who have given up looking for a job, increased by 64,000
in the latest quarter to 7.92 million, 20 per cent of the workforce.

The number of unemployed men increased by almost 200,000 to 1.46 million,
while 84,000 more women were out of work, taking female unemployment to
923,000, today’s figure revealed.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Today’s figures are truly
horrendous. The people who have lost their jobs this month and who fear they
will in months to come are not talking of recovery or green shoots.

“It’s particularly worrying that over half a million unemployed people have
been out of work for at least a year, including 133,000 young unemployed
people. With a new generation of school and college leavers soon starting to
look for work, our unemployment crisis will get even bigger.

“Yet rather than treat unemployment as a national emergency, growing numbers
of politicians are calling for deep public expenditure cuts. This will make
the recession far worse – 200,000 nurses, teaches and other public servants
will join the dole queue, private companies will lose business, public
services will deteriorate and the deficit will get worse.

“The Government must do all it can to tackle joblessness and the permanent
scar of long-term unemployment.”

Unemployment in the regions between March and May was: (region, total
unemployed, change on quarter, unemployment rate)

North East, 115,000, plus 10,000, 9.2%
North West, 283,000, plus 16,000, 8.3%
Yorkshire and the Humber, 232,000, plus 41,000, 8.8%
East Midlands, 169,000, plus 12,000, 7.2%
West Midlands, 276,000, plus 52,000, 10.3%
East, 187,000, plus 12,000, 6.3%
London, 348,000, plus 28,000, 8.6%
South East, 269,000, plus 47,000, 6.1%
South West, 167,000, plus 26,000, 6.2%
Wales, 107,000, minus 1,000, 7.5%
Scotland, 179,000, plus 35,000, 6.7%
N Ireland, 50,000, plus 4,000, 6.3%

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