Labour Research January 2009


Unemployed need support, says TUC

Unemployment is heading towards the two million mark and is already at an 11-year high, according to the latest official figures.

Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count it rose by 137,000 to 1.86 million in the three-month period to October 2008 on the previous three months. The LFS count includes people who are looking for work but not eligible for benefits and is the government’s preferred measure.

The number of jobless men rose by 85,000 to 1.1 million and their unemployment rate was up to 6.5% from 6.0%. Unemployment among women rose by 51,000 to 760,000 and the unemployment rate was up to 5.3% from 5.0%.

People claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in November passed the one million mark in the wrong direction. Unemployment under the claimant count rose by 75,700 to 1.07 million. The unemployment rate under this count was up to 3.3% from 3.1%.

Unemployed men on benefit numbered 797,900 and the unemployment rate was up to 4.6%. The number of jobless women rose to 274,000, and their jobless rate was up to 1.8%.

The TUC said the government must provide further support for those already out of work. An indication of how tight the jobs market is can be seen from the fact that the number of job vacancies showed an annual fall of 118,000 to 562,000 in the three months to November.