Labour Research April 2009


Jobless total passes two million

Unemployment has passed the two million mark for the first time since 1997, according to official figures.

Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, unemployment rose by 165,000 to 2.03 million in the three months to January 2009 against 1.86 million the previous three-month period.

The increase in numbers pushed the unemployment rate up to 6.5% up from 6.0%. The LFS count includes people who are looking for work but who are not eligible for benefits and is the government’s preferred measure.

The number of jobless men rose by 113,000 to 1.22 million and their unemployment rate was up to 7.1% from 6.5%. Unemployment among women rose by 52,000 to 811,000 and their unemployment rate went up to 5.6% from 5.3%.

Unemployment under the claimant count, which only includes those drawing Jobseeker’s Allowance, recorded its 13th consecutive monthly rise. In February, it increased by 138,400 to 1.39 million. Under this count, the unemployment rate was up to 4.3% from 3.9% the previous month.

Unemployed men on benefit numbered 918,000 and the unemployment rate was up to 5.3% from 5.0%. The number of jobless women was up to 315,000 and their jobless rate rose to 2.1% from 2.0%.