UK Unemployment Rises By 28,000
15 March 2012 11:30am - Jack Stupple

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UK Unemployment Rises By 28,000

Official figures have shown that UK unemployment rose by 28,000 to 26.7 million between November and January. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the unemployment rate was 8.4% of the economically active population which is the highest level since 1995. This figure was more than economics had forecasted. 

The number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 110,000 to 1.3 million, the highest since records started in 1993. Part-time employment rose by 60,000 to 6.6 million, while self-employment fell by 52,000 to over 4 million. Youth unemployment, amongst 16-24 year olds, rose by 16,000 to 1.042, a rate of 22.5%. The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance rose for the twelfth straight month, up by 7,200 in February to 1.6 million which is the worst figure since 2009.

However, the number of people in work increased by 9,000 in the quarter to January to 29.1 million. Average earnings also increased by 1.4% in the year to January, but this was down by 0.5% on the previous month, The ONS figures highlighted that public sector employment fell by 37,000 in the last quarter of 2011 to just under 6 million whereas employment in private firms increased by 45,000 to 23 million.

The results will undoubtedly fuel arguments from opposition politicians that the Prime Minister is cutting government spending too fast to tackle the deficit and comes after the economy contracted in the fourth quarter.