UK unemployment has research 2.64 million as the number of people out of work has increased by 128,000 in the three months to October with unions blaming the figures on public sector job cuts.
The official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the jobless rate increased from 7.9% to 8.3% making the unemployment rate the highest since 1996. The total jobless however, is the highest figure since 1994!
The biggest rise in the number of people out of work was seen in the East of England where there was a regional rise of 26,000 people bringing the total to 218,000. Scotland and the North West also experienced higher rates of unemployment than anywhere else in the country.
Only the East Midlands and Northern Ireland saw fewer people o ut of work than the previous quarter, while most parts of the country saw the number of unemployed people increase.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber commented on the figures, “Ministers will desperately attempt to lay the blame on the Eurozone but it is the UK government alone that is responsible for the huge cull of public sector employment. There are now 12 public sector workers losing their jobs for every new post which is created in the private sector.”
Public sector job cuts have made a significant contribution to increased unemployment levels. Over the three months to October, 67,000 job cuts were made in the public sector compared to just 5,000 in the private sector.
Long-term unemployment has continued to rise as has the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance. ONS figures revealed that the number of jobseekers allowance claimants increased by 3,000 last month bringing the total to 1.6 million.
Youth unemployment remained above the 1 million barrier and increased by 54,000 over the third quarter. The jobless figure for those aged 16-24 is now 1.03 million, the highest since records began in 1992. There was an increase in male unemployment of 83,000 compared to 45,000 for women.
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