Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Unemployment Figures Are 'Disappointing'

The number of people out of work in the UK has reached a three year high, jumping up 111,000 this quarter to 1.53 million, the latest labour market figures have revealed. The number of people claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance has also risen by 7,200 in December, to 909.1 thousand, continuing a trend seen since the beginning of 2005. The Government admitted that this quarter’s figures are ‘disappointing’.

Reacting to the figures, George Cowcher, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said that to get a clear picture of these figures you have to compare changes year on year: “The number of people in employment in the North East has risen 16,000 over the past year while the claimant count has also gone up by 2,800. Meanwhile, the total number of unemployed people has stayed constant at 74,000. “There has been jobs growth in the North East in the last year, a picture that reflects our most recent economic survey. However, the challenge still remains to give people on long term unemployment and those who are currently inactive the chance to join the labour market. “This will only be achieved by giving people the right skills for the jobs that are already available and to create more prosperous businesses that in turn will provide more opportunities for those out of work to find the right employment.”

The TUC said that the figures reinforce the fact that the manufacturing industry is experiencing a tough period and called on the MPC to take action and cut interest rates at its meeting next month.Â

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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