Unemployment at 17-year high

The number of people unemployed has hit a 17-year high, rising by 28,000 to 2.67 million between November and January. But quarterly figures reveal that employment in the private sector is growing faster than the public sector is shrinking.

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Unison: '625 people a day have joined the dole queue under the coalition'

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis.
UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis. Credit: Reuters

UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis, said: “It is clear that we are not all in this together. Since the coalition came to power, one public sector job has been lost every 2 minutes and 18 seconds. That’s 625 public sector workers joining the dole queues every single day.

"Cuts are chocking off demand in our economy and hitting the private sector hard. It cannot create enough jobs to offset public sector losses and fuel our recovery. The government urgently needs a credible plan for growth and recovery. "

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Unemployment figures: The good, the bad and the ugly

The latest unemployment statistics are a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.The good is the 9,000 increase in total employment. The bad is the 50,000 fall in full-time employment and the rise in both measures of unemployment. Without doubt the ugly is the fall in wage growth to 1%, which means real pay is still falling sharply.

– Graeme Leach, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors

TUC: 'New part-time jobs not enough'

UK unemployment figures show 17-year high.
UK unemployment figures show 17-year high. Credit: Reuters

Responding to the latest unemployment figures, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “The rise in employment is encouraging, but the new jobs being created are mainly part-time. These jobs are not paying enough to replace the full-time earnings that people need.

“The sharp fall in pay increases is also worrying as it will prolong the painful squeeze on family incomes throughout the year."

“Tackling the jobs crisis should be at the centre of the Chancellor’s Budget next week. Bold new measures such as a youth jobs guarantee and tax breaks for investment are needed to get our economy growing again,” he added.

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