Labour Research December 2009


Increase in jobless numbers falls

The labour market may be fragile, but unemployment posted the smallest increase in numbers for over a year in the three months to September. Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, unemployment rose by 30,000 to 2.46 million.

The rise was the smallest since May 2008, according to the Office for National Statistics .

The jobless rate remained steady at 7.8%.

The number of unemployed men rose by 34,000 to 1.52 million and the unemployment rate was up to 9.0%. For women, numbers fell by 4,000 to 937,000 but their unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.5%.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the slowdown shows that the government’s strategy of investing in jobs is starting to pay off, although “the labour market is still fragile”. And he warned that the figures also show that the numbers in temporary work or facing long-term unemployment is rising.

The claimant count, which only includes those receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, rose by 12,900 to 1.64 million in October. However, the unemployment rate was up to 5.1% from 5.0% in September.

The number of unemployed men on benefit was 1.19 million. Their unemployment rate was steady at 6.8%.

The number of jobless women was up to 445,300 and their jobless rate was up to 3.0% from 2.9% the previous month.