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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 appears to have contracted in Q4 2012, the labour market has performed remarkably well. Overall, unemployment is down 37,000 to 2.49 million. Employment increased by the largest annual increase since 1989, with more than half a million new jobs created.

Whilst there was a slight fall in long-term unemployment of 5,000, it remains high, with a total of 892,000 people 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 next year.

Youth unemployment has also risen slightly to 957,000, with one in five under-25s without a job. More than a quarter of a million (265,000) young people have been out of work for more than a year.

While unemployment among people over-50 has fallen 37,000 in the last year (to 396,000), almost half of unemployed over fifties have been out of work for more than a year, up 5,000 over the last year to 188,000.

Spencer Thompson, IPPR Economist, said:

“The overall fall in unemployment and large rise in employment in today’s statistics is very good news, showing the UK labour market’s ability to create jobs even at a time of great economic uncertainty.

We should not be complacent, however. The fact that youth unemployment has stopped falling after several months is worrying. It is also concerning that there was only a small fall in long-term unemployment.

“The outlook is especially bleak for young people and the long-term unemployed this year. 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 relationship with the world of work.

“The Labour party have adopted IPPR’s plan for a job guarantee, paid at the minimum wage or above, to anyone who has been out of work and claiming JSA for more than 24 consecutive months. This should be taken up by the Government and extended to all those out of work for a year.’

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 8.5% down 16,000 on the year

• North East unemployment at 9.1% down 36,000 on the year

• Yorkshire & Humberside unemployment at 8.8% down 26,000 on the year

• East Midlands unemployment at 8.2% down 1,000 on the year

• West Midlands unemployment at 8.9% up 5,000 on the year

• South East unemployment at 6.5% up 5,000 on the year

• South West unemployment at 5.5% down 27,000 on the year

• London unemployment at 8.3% down 58,000 on the year

• East of England unemployment at 6.7% down 12,000 on the year

• Scotland unemployment at 7.8% down 23,000 on the year

• Wales unemployment at 8.4% down 8,000 on the year

• Northern Ireland unemployment at 7.9% up 11,000 on the year

There has also been a fall in part-time work, which fell by 26,000 while the level of full-time employment rose by 113,000. There are now 1.388 million people working part-time because they say they cannot get longer hours, a fall of 23,000.

 

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