Joblessness up again with weak growth

Tim Wallace
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UNEMPLOYMENT in the UK increased again in the three months to November, according to data published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics, leading economists to predict a gloomy 2012.

Joblessness rose by 118,000 to 2.69m from September to November – the highest number since 1994.

The rise takes the headline rate up to 8.4 per cent from 8.1 per cent.

Male unemployment rose by 59,000 to 1.56m, or 9.1 per cent, while female joblessness was up 59,000 to 1.13m, or 7.7 per cent.

December saw 1,200 additional people claim unemployment, taking the total to 1.6m.

Youth unemployment rose 52,000 to 1.04 m, or 22.3 per cent of economically active 16- to 24-year olds. Of those unemployed youths, 313,000 are in full-time education but seeking work.

Although unemployment jumped, employment also increased by 18,000 to 29.12m with economic inactivity dropping by 61,000 to 9.29m.

Employment also shifted towards self-employment, which rose by 101,000 to 4.12m, and part-time work, which increased by 75,000 to 7.86m.

“The outlook for the labour market is pretty dismal,” said Nida Ali from the Ernst and Young Item Club.

“The descent back into recession will make it increasingly difficult for firms to maintain headcount, adding to the upward pressure on unemployment coming from further public sector cuts.”