Rise in unemployment driven by more people entering the labour market: redundancy levels and JSA claims stabilising

Published on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 12:33
Posted by Scott Buckler

New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today show 29.12 million people in work, a rise of 18,000 compared to the previous quarter

The number of unemployed (ILO measure) in September-November 2011 was 2.685 million compared to 2.638 million in the last quarter.

This quarter’s rise in unemployment mainly reflects more people entering the labour market. In particular, more students and more women are looking for work. Inactivity fell by 61,000 on the quarter and the rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 23.1%.

The number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) rose 1,200 in December 2011 to 1.6 million. This shows that the underlying trend is now flattening out even while the reassessment of those on incapacity benefits and lone parents moving off income support has been adding to the number on JSA.

Today’s figures show a fall in youth unemployment reflecting the numbers in full-time education. Full-time students now account for 30% of all those unemployed between the ages of 16 and 24. The number of 16 to 24-year-olds who have left full-time education and are seeking work is 729,000. The number of full-time students looking for a job rose 44,000 to 313,000.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

"The overall level of unemployment is, and will remain, a major concern for the Government. The latest figures reflect the current challenging economic climate but also show more women entering the workforce and more students looking to supplement their income through work. When you take into account our welfare reforms the number of Jobseeker Allowance claimants has actually fallen.

"Despite the exceptionally difficult economic circumstances, finding work for the unemployed will remain top of the Government’s agenda."


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