UK jobless number near 2 million mark
SKALYANA RAMANATHAN London, 21 January
Calendar year 2009 has opened with a whimper in the United Kingdom with the unemployment number racing towards the two million mark.
The UK government’s Office of National Statistics today released the updated labour market data for the three months ending November 2008, which showed the unemployment number has increased to 1.923 million, up 0.9 per cent from the previous year’s number.
Nearly 225,000 jobs have been cut in the said period, an increase of 50 per cent on the previous quarter.
Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Secretary Brendan Barber said, “Compared with a year-ago (period), the picture is even worse —the unemployment rate is higher for both men and women, for every age group and for every part of the UK except Northern Ireland. More importantly, these figures stop at November 2008 and do not take into account the redundancies announced over the past eight weeks at companies like Woolworths, Santander, Barclays, Denby, Land Rover, JCB, Burberry, Zavvi, Grattan and Empire Direct.” “Unfortunately, it seems certain that unemployment will continue to rise for at least the first six months of 2009, with a very strong chance it will pass the 2.5 million mark by June,” said Barber. TUC is UK’s federation of trade unions with 58 affiliated units and membership of 6.5 million people.
Institute for Employment Studies Director Nigel Meager said, “Looking at the months ahead, the picture will be bleaker for new entrants to the labour market. Recently laid-off workers are likely to enjoy an advantage in the competition for the shrinking number of job vacancies, and young people coming out of education and training, especially those with lower levels of qualifications, will struggle to get the jobs they had hoped for.” The official data released today also showed there were 31.53 million workforce jobs in September 2008, down 134,000 over the quarter. Most sectors showed decreases in jobs over the quarter.
Nearly 225,000 jobs have been cut in the said period, an increase of 50 per cent on the previous quarter