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Press Release

Press Releases

IPPR: Welcome fall in unemployment

IPPR press release

Reacting to today’s unemployment figures, the think tank IPPR says that while the UK economy just been through a double-dip recession the labour market has performed remarkably well. Overall, unemployment is down 82,000 to 2.51 million.

Long-term unemployment remains at the highest level since 1996, with a total of 904,000 people out of work for more than a year. While 11,000 men have left long-term unemployment, there are now 11,000 more women out of work for more than a year. IPPR analysis of the latest forecasts from the Office of Budgetary Responsibility suggests there could be almost a million unemployed for more than a year by this time year.

Youth unemployment has fallen by 72,000 to 945,000, with one in five under-25s without a job. More than a quarter of a million (266,000) young people have been out of work for more than a year.

While unemployment among people over-50 has fallen 12,000 in the last year (to 400,000), almost half of unemployed over fifties have been out of work for more than a year, up 30,000 over the last year to 194,000.

Spencer Thompson, IPPR Economist, said:

“The overall fall in unemployment in today’s statistics is good news. The fact that youth unemployment has fallen for a second month in a row is encouraging.

“But the outlook is especially bleak for young people next year and hundreds of thousands are at risk of permanent ‘scarring’ in the labour market: having their long-term outlook damaged by long periods of unemployment or by a difficult and patchy entry into the world of work.

“The Government should guarantee a job, paid at the minimum wage or above, to anyone who has been out of work and claiming JSA for more than 12 consecutive months. If people do not want to take up this offer, they should be expected to find an alternative that does not involve claiming JSA.”

IPPR North analysis shows a mixed picture across the country. The number of unemployed people compared to a year ago is:

• North West unemployment at 8.6% down 7,000 on the year
• North East unemployment at 9.5% down 27,000 on the year
• Yorkshire & Humberside unemployment at 8.8% down 10,000 on the year
• East Midlands unemployment at 8.0% up 1,000 on the year
• West Midlands unemployment at 8.7% down 4,000 on the year
• South East unemployment at 6.3% up 10,000 on the year
• South West unemployment at 5.7% down 22,000 on the year
• London unemployment at 9.0% down 31,000 on the year
• East of England unemployment at 6.9% down 4,000 on the year
• Scotland unemployment at 7.6% down 25,000 on the year
• Wales unemployment at 7.9% down 16,000 on the year
• Northern Ireland unemployment at 7.8% up 8,000 on the year

In the latest twelve months (to September 2012), public sector employment contracted by 324,000, more than compensated for by private sector employment, which increased by 823,000.

There has also been a fall in part-time work, which fell by 13,000 while the level of full-time employment rose by 44,000. There are now 1.405 million people working part-time because they say they cannot get longer hours, a fall of 20,000.

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