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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Minimum wage rises to £5.80 per hour

The government has just announced that the minimum wage will increase by 7p to £5.80 per hour from October. This follows on from an increase of 21p last year. The rate for 18-21 year olds will go up by 6p to £4.83 and for 16-17 year olds by 4p to £3.57.   This level of increase was recommended by the … Continue reading

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Unemployment reaches 2.2 million

In the first quarter of 2009 the number of unemployed in the UK increased by 244,000 on the previous quarter, and 592,000 on the same quarter of 2008, to reach 2.2 million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.8% over the previous quarter and 1.8% over the year to reach 7.1%.   The other measure of unemployment which looks at those … Continue reading

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Forced to work part-time

One in nine people (11.2%) in the UK are currently having to work part-time solely because they cannot find full-time jobs, according to a survey by the TUC published today.   The TUC has found that the number of involuntary part-time workers has increased sharply over the last two years to reach a total of 829,000, which is the highest … Continue reading

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Rise in US unemployment starts to slow

The US economy lost 539,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose from 8.5% to 8.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. This means that since the recession began in December 2007, a total of 5.7 million jobs have been lost. Overall private sector employment fell by 611,000 but was slightly offset by a rise in … Continue reading

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£50bn extra on offer from the Bank of England

Yesterday the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the official bank rate at 0.5% but also to extend its programme of asset purchases financed by issuing central bank reserves. This process is generally known as “quantitative easing”. They have decided to increase the size of this fund by £50bn to a total of £125bn.   The … Continue reading

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UK out of step on inflation

Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 0.9% in the year to March 2009, according to figures released yesterday. This represents a continued fall when compared with the 1.3% price level recorded in the year to February. When taken on a month-by-month basis prices rose by 0.3% in March following a rise of 0.4% in February. The recent trend … Continue reading

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Retail sales rise in March

Annual growth in total retail sales volume for March showed a somewhat modest increase of 1.5%, and this was mainly due to a 1.3% increase in stores which mainly sell food. Between February and March 2009 there was a 0.3% increase which was driven by increases across most retail sectors, with the exception of household good stores and other non-food … Continue reading

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Orders and output plunge for smaller UK firms

Orders for goods and output fell at the fastest rate for 20 years at small and medium-size enterprise (SME) according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in their latest quarterly SME Trends survey published this morning.   The CBI surveyed 484 firms, of which 64% saw the volume of total new orders fall in the three months to April, … Continue reading

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