Fall in unemployment will be ‘short lived’

By Georgie Keate

The boost to today's employment figures is distorted by the Olympics and jobseekers forced into part-time work, according to critics.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) recorded a 0.2% drop in unemployment down to eight per cent in the last three months, with those claiming jobseekers allowance down 5,900 to 1.59 million.

"This small fall is welcome, but there will be no lasting Olympics’ legacy in the jobs market," said Unison's general secretary, Dave Prentis.

"The end of thousands of temporary jobs will see unemployment climbing after the summer."
The number of people in part-time work has also hit an all time high due to the scarcity of full time jobs in the labour market.

Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith is busy promoting the figures as evidence government employment projects are working, despite criticism from the opposition.

"The robustness of these figures is good news," he said.

"The work we're doing through the youth contract and through the work programme and through work experience should be supported by people like the trade unions and the Labour party instead of being carped at by them, which is what they do the whole time."

The TUC has also warned that youth unemployment is still rising with 16-25 years olds "facing the toughest climate for nearly 20 years".