1. ITV Report

Unemployment in North West rises despite UK decrease

Unemployment in the North West has risen by 11,000 to 329,000 Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Official figures released today show a decrease in the number of out of work people in the UK, as unemployment fell by 45,000 between January and March to 2.63 million.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the jobless rate fell to 8.2% - a statistic welcomed by Employment Minister Chris Grayling as a “step in the right direction."

There was a decrease in the number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants, as figures fell by 13,700 to 1.59 million in April.

Youth unemployment has also fallen by 17,000 over the latest quarter to 1.02 million.

Despite the national decrease, unemployment in the North West has risen by 11,000 to 329,000.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research had said that the outlook for the future looks difficult as unemployment is projected to continue to increase over the next five years.

There has been a significant rise in the number of workers moving into part-time employment. TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "The falling number of full-time jobs and the 6% fall in real wages over the last two years means that people are having to make huge salary sacrifices and put their careers on hold just to stay in work.”

He added: "People's incomes and job security today are barely any better than they were at the height of the financial crash. Unless governments act together and stop our austerity misery spiral, the UK's economic depression will continue for far longer than feared."

The ONS figures also showed that the number of people unemployed for more than a year increased by 27,000 to 887,000, the worst total since 1996.