Grayling: increase in unemployment tempered by a reduction in the number of people claiming benefits and growth in private sector jobs

Published on Thursday, 17 March 2011 10:01
Posted by Scott Buckler

New figures published today (March 16th) by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment (ILO measure) has risen by 27,000 on the quarter to 2.5 million


However, the overall picture continues to be mixed with the number of people in employment rising by 32,000, driven entirely by the growth of full time jobs in the private sector.

The figures also show an encouraging fall in the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance this month, while the total number claiming out-of-work benefits has fallen by around a quarter of a million over the last year.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

"There is good news and bad news in these figures. There’s been a welcome drop in the number of people on benefits, and the increase in full-time private sector jobs is a step in the right direction.

"But the rise in overall unemployment is a real concern and underlines the need to press ahead with policies which will further stimulate growth in the private sector. For those on benefits that are now looking to make the transition into the workplace our new Work Programme will provide tailored support to get them into jobs."

The Government’s flagship new Work Programme will be in place by the summer and will offer personalised, tailored support to get people back into jobs.

The number of young people aged (16 to 24) who are classed as ILO unemployed rose by 30,000 over the quarter to 974,000. However, of the 30,000 increase, 13,000 are students in full time education and looking for some part time work to fit around their studies.

Of the 974,000 ILO unemployed, there are 285,000 students – over a quarter of the total - in full time education looking for some part time work to fit out around their studies.

To enable young people to get valuable work experience Government has changed the rules so that young people can do up to two months work experience and keep their benefits. Under previous rules it was for only two weeks.  Jobcentre Plus offices around the country are working with local businesses to refer young people onto work experience opportunities.

From April Prince’s Trust advisers and other community groups will be stationed in some Jobcentres to refer young people to volunteering and training opportunities.

Source: DWP

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