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Fall in claimant count unemployment

There was a fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, otherwise known as the claimant count, in November according to the ONS today. In fact the number fell by 6,300 over the previous month to give a total of 1.63 million out of work. This is the first monthly fall in this measure since February 2008.


The other measure of unemployment, which is the more generally accepted on an international basis, is the latest three month figure for August to October 2009, which shows an unemployment rate of 7.9%, which was unchanged on the previous quarter. The number of people unemployed according to this measure increased by 21,000 over the quarter to reach 2.49 million. This is the smallest increase in unemployment since the March to May 2008 quarter.

We may be seeing more jobs at the end of the unemployment rainbow, but many of them are part-time.

We may be seeing more jobs at the end of the unemployment rainbow, but many of them are part-time.


There was also an increase in the number unemployed for more than 12 months of 49,000 over the quarter to reach 620,000. There was also an increase amongst 18-24 year olds as the unemployment rate in this category rose by 0.9 percentage points to reach 18.4%, which was the highest recorded figure since these records began in 1992.


The number of people in employment increased by 53,000 in the August to October quarter, to give a rate of 72.5%, which was unchanged compared to the previous quarter. However, whilst this looks like good news on the surface, it is important to look at the breakdown of employment.  In fact, there were falls in both the number of men and women in full-time employment, but a rise of 120,000 in the number of women in part-time employment. And, according to the ONS, there are now just over one million people who are either employed or self-employed, who are working part-time solely because they cannot find a full-time job.


As far as average earnings are concerned, the public sector continues to grow at a faster rate than the private sector. Average earnings excluding bonuses for August to October rose by 2.7% in the public sector but only 1.4% in the private sector. The government announced in the Pre Budget Report that it was going to cap public sector wage increases to 1%, but only from 2011.

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Posted in Earnings, Employment, unemployment

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