Unemployment Rises To 2.67m


First Posted: 15/02/2012 09:32 Updated: 15/02/2012 11:27

Unemployment rose to 2.67m in the three months to December 2011 with the joblessness rate now at a 16 year high, according to official figures released on Wednesday.

The rise of 48,000 was lower than the predicted jump of 80,000.

Welfare minister Lord Freud said the the government were not "complacent" and would continue to try and get people into work: "The latest figures show some encouraging signs of stability despite the challenging economic climate.

"With more people in employment and a rise in vacancies, it is clear the private sector is still creating jobs.

"However, we are not complacent. With more people in the labour market we know that competition for those jobs is tough and we will continue to make it our priority to find people work."

Office for National Statistics figures show the numbers claiming Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA) rose by 6,900 to 1.6m last month, while the number of women claiming JSA is at an 18 year high - up by 1,500 to 531,700.

The number of people working part time is at record levels - up by 83,000 in the three months to December 2011 to 1.35m.

Youth unemployment rose by 22,000 to 1.04m, up 0.3%. The figure includes 307,000 people in education who are looking for jobs.

The TUC has said the "real" number of unemployed people in the UK could be over six million - twice the official tally - if the government used a different measure to count it.

Dave Prentis
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"The Tories' economic policies aren't working. With the number of women out of work at a 16 year high, and one in three unemployed people out of work for more than a year, Cameron's claims that we're all in it together sound increasingly hollow.

"The government has to do the right thing by families, women and young people. It cannot stand by, as it did in the 80s, and condemn an entire generation to the scrapheap and abandon whole communities.

"We urgently need a proper plan for growth and jobs. This must include making the bankers who caused this crisis pay their fair share. It is wrong that the very people who can afford it least are shouldering the largest burden to pay down a deficit that isn't of their making."

Filed by Dina Rickman  |