Latest unemployment figures still leave big economic challenges

Published on Wednesday, 13 July 2011 11:46
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Government says that the latest fall in unemployment still means that there are big economic challenges ahead (July 13th)

The latest figures show a fall in unemployment (ILO measure) to 2.45 million and a rise in the number of people in work to nearly 29.3 million. However, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has risen by 24,500, underlining that the jobs market is still fragile and Government must continue to take measures to support the economy and encourage growth.

The figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show a quarterly fall in youth unemployment with 18,000 fewer 16-24-year-olds not in full time education and looking for work - the overall figure now stands at 644,000.

Ministers are clear that while the labour market has stabilised over the past few months and over the past year private sector employment has risen by around 500,000, there are still challenges ahead.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

"There continue to be some encouraging signs in the labour market figures, particularly with the continued rise in private sector employment. It's really important that we continue to support the economy and encourage businesses to invest and create jobs.

"However, we do not underestimate the scale of the challenge that we face to help people into employment. We always said that the road to recovery would be choppy; for people who lose their jobs our new Work Programme is now up and running and will offer jobseekers flexible support tailored to their needs to help them into employment."

The Government has already taken urgent steps to support growth and rebalance the economy, including:


  • keeping interest rates low and creating confidence in the economy to help to create jobs;
  • creating real incentives for businesses to grow and create job opportunities;
  • announcing four annual reductions in corporation tax;
  • cutting the small companies rate;
  • expanding loan guarantees;
  • investing in science and apprenticeships;
  • promoting exports through major trade missions;
  • launching the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) which will help up to 40,000 businesses get up and running;
  • supporting work clubs and enterprise clubs across the country.

Last month the Government launched the new Work Programme to give jobseekers the help to get back into sustained employment. Private and voluntary sector organisations are investing £581 million upfront in the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen to provide tailored support built around the needs of individuals. Organisations will be paid by results and allowed to develop support that really addresses the needs of jobseekers.

This week the Government has also launched a consultation into disability employment services, based on recommendations from RADAR chief executive Liz Sayce.


Source: DWP

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