Jobless figures defy economic gravity, claim experts
Unemployment in the UK fell by 68,000 to 2.58 million people in the last quarter, official statistics issued today have revealed.
The latest quarterly set of labour figures from the Office for National Statistics showed in the last three months the unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, down from 8.3% in the previous quarter and the number of people in employment increased by 181,000 to 29.35 million.
Some 1.02 million 16 to 24 year olds were reported unemployed, a 10,000 fall from the previous quarter. This reduced the unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year old by 0.2% from the three months to February to 21.9%.
However, the number of people claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) in June reached 1.6 million - up 6,100 on the previous month and 78,600 on the previous year.
According to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), welfare reforms and changes of eligibility for lone parent benefits and ongoing reassessments of people on Incapacity Benefits may have increased the JSA caseload.
Employment minister, Chris Grayling said: ‘This is an encouraging set of figures in what is still an incredibly difficult economic climate. Not only is unemployment falling but in overall terms there are now almost 100,000 less people on benefits since the 2010 election. We still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction.’
Commenting on the figures, Neil Carberry, who is director for employment and skills at the CBI said the persistent rise in the number of people claiming JSA remains troubling.
‘The rising number of JSA claimants, and the fact that we have 441,000 people who’ve been unemployed for over two years, emphasises how important the Government’s work programme is,’ said Mr Carberry.
Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said: ‘The labour market continues to defy the laws of economic gravity, with employment up and unemployment down, despite stalling growth forecasts and stuttering confidence.
‘The downside is that, for now, we have a seemingly entrenched pattern of falling productivity and subdued pay affecting the competitiveness of employers and the living standards of employees.’
This is good news but a way to go to encourage more into business & the labour market. We need many more off the benefits . .J Smith, Added: Wednesday, 18 July 2012 02:46 PM
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