Unemployment continues to rise

Joblessness increases in the UK, labour market figures show
Joblessness increases in the UK, labour market figures show

The number of people out of work in the UK continues to rise, despite a corresponding increase in employment, government figures show.

There were 1.7 million out of work in the three months to October - about 5.6 per cent of the working population and up 27,000 on the previous quarter. This is 263,000 more than in October last year.

Similarly, the number of people claiming jobseekers' allowance rose by 1,200 in a month to 961,300 - over 70,000 more claimants than this time last year.

However, the government pointed out that employment rates also continue to rise - there are 28.99 million currently in work, or 74.5 per cent of the working population. This is up 56,000 on the last quarter and 192,000 on the year.

And employment minister Jim Murphy noted that although the inactivity rate - the proportion of people not looking for work - rose in the last three months by 13,000, it has fallen by 75,000 on the year and stands at about 21 per cent.

Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) also show a 54,000 fall in incapacity benefit claims in the year to May, taking it to below 2.7 million for the first time in six years. The number of lone parent benefit claimants is down 14,000 to 774,000.

"Employment is up by nearly 200,000 on the year, and with a strong economy and over 600,000 vacancies there is room for more," Mr Murphy said.

"That is why we have set our long-term aim of reaching 80 per cent employment, by getting more older people and lone parents into work and reducing the number of people on incapacity benefits.

"The latest figures show we are already making progress on all three.But we can do more. That is why our welfare reform bill is so important."


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