Archive for February 16th, 2011

UK Unemployment Still Rising: Youth Unemployment Hits Record High

UK unemployment rose by 44,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Youth unemployment rose to a record high, with more than one in five 16 to 24-year-olds out of work after a rise of 66,000 to 965,000 without jobs, prompting renewed concern that young people are bearing the brunt of weakness in the labour market.

North-East England had the largest rise in unemployment, up 1.3 percentage points to a rate of 10.2 per cent, the highest in the UK. The West Midlands also saw a rise of 1.1 points to 9.8 per cent. (see preferred bidders in these regions)

The unemployment rate is now 7.9%, with youth unemployment running at 20.5%.

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to December 2010 was 70.5 per cent, down 0.3 on the quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over fell by 68,000 on the quarter to reach 29.12 million.

The number of employees and self-employed people, who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job, rose by 44,000 to reach 1.19 million, another high since comparable records began in 1992.

Long-term unemployment also deteriorated, with 17,000 more people out of work for more than a year, to a total of 833,000. The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to December 2010 was 23.4 per cent, up 0.2 on the quarter. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 increased by 93,000 over the quarter to reach 9.36 million.

Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, said he was “very concerned” about youth unemployment but added: “We’ve got a long way to go and I want to see these figures start to come down, but certainly the evidence is over the past month things have settled down and we are not seeing the increases we saw earlier in the last quarter,”. He said the government was tackling the issue by creating more apprenticeships and through its planned work programme, which would help more get into work. He said the overall jobless total appeared to be stabilising.

Jobseeker’s Allowance: It is interesting to note that the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, the main unemployment benefit, rose by 2,400 between December 2010 and January 2011 to 1.46 million. Economists had expected a fall of 3,000. The number of male claimants has fallen for twelve consecutive months, with a fall of 5,400 claimants in January 2011 to 1.01 million. But the number of female claimants has increased for seven consecutive months, with an increase of 7,400 claimants in January 2011 to 449,200, the highest figure since October 1996. The number of women aged between 25 and 49 claiming increased by 6,600 on the month to reach 244,500, the highest figure also since comparable records for this series began in 1997.

Most analysts still expect unemployment to rise in the coming months, largely because of the public sector spending cuts being implemented by the government. However, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility thinks the rate will peak at 8.1 per cent before starting to fall.

Source:  http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12

Jason McGee-Abe

Project Support Officer


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Existing welfare to work contracts aimed at supporting people with disabilities are not being renewed. The Work Programme aims to be up and running by June and Grayling confirmed that existing unemployment programmes can continue to take on new customers until then. However the contracts for the New Deal for Disabled People and Pathways to Work for people with disabilities are not being extended potentially leading to hundreds of job losses.


Kirsty McHugh, chief executive of the Employment Related Services Association, the providers’ trade body, found that 1,500 possible redundancies were already in consultation based in a survey of less than a third of the association’s membership.

Please feel free to post any further details that you come across..

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Charles HRH to ask businesses to help the homeless

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Ready to Work programme, and Prince Charles is expected to deliver a speech calling on businesses to work with homeless people to get them back into employment.  So far the scheme has helped 2,000 people back into work by providing work placements, mentoring and ongoing support for the homeless.

The Prince, who is president of Business in the Community, will visit a refurbished former hostel in Camden and meet those whom the scheme has helped so far. In a speech at the event, he is expected to say:


“In the last six months the number of homeless people has begun to rise and I fear this trend will continue. It is estimated that there are some 20,000 people in this country who are either homeless, or who have experienced homelessness, who could be back at work but are not.”

He will also meet several other key figures including John Varley, former chief executive of Barclays and now chairman of Business Action on Homelessness. Mr Varley stated that he believes employment is one of the most effective routes out of homelessness, adding: “Businesses should be part of the solution – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it offers great business benefits.”


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Prince’s Trust to Partner Jobcentre Plus

Charitable organisations will be based in local Jobcentre Plus centres to aid young people into volunteering, training, education and employment, the government has announced.

Organisations such as the Prince’s Trust will consult and advise with unemployed people struggling to find sustainable work, as the DWP continues its mission to reduce the 2.5 million unemployment figure.


Yesterday in Parliament, the Secretary of State for the DWP, Iain Duncan-Smith MP said:

“Prince’s Trust advisers and other local voluntary organisations will start to have a desk that they man in Jobcentres in the next few weeks, and that provision should be available pretty much around the country in April. This will be enormously helpful in tying the voluntary sector in to some of the most difficult people.

“First, what we are doing will really open the door to the voluntary sector’s engagement in the whole process.


The scheme will target disadvantaged young people as well as the economically inactive, those who have not sought work for over a month.  The UK inactivity rate for 16-64 year olds rose 0.2 per cent to 9.37 million for the three months to November 2010, while the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds reached 951, 000, on the quarter, the highest level since 1992.  Martina Milburn, Chief executive at the Prince’s Trust believes these figures will fall as charitable organisations aid young people to find training, education and employment:

Website:  DirectGov, Parliament, ONS, Prince’s Trust






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CIPD pessimistic on employment recovery in 2011


The latest Labour Market Outlook from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development predicts that the employment recovery in 2010 will not be sustained during 2011. Their quarterly report produced with KPMG is based on a survey of 759 HR professionals and measures employers’ intentions for staffing and pay in the coming quarter.

This will be sobering news for all involved in delivering the Work Programme.

The report found that net employment intentions (being the proportion of employers planning to increase staffing levels and those planning to reduce them) had become negative for the first time in a year. While the private sector continues to grow, employment intentions in the public sector have been in negative and have continued to fall. Furthermore more than half of public sector organisations plan to make redundancies in the first quarter of 2011.


CIPD believes that unemployment may continue rising into 2012 painting a pessimistic picture of the UK labour market in comparison to the predictions of the Office for Budget Responsibility. The OBR produces its own labour market forecasts and predicts that the total number of people in work will be 100,000 higher at the end of 2011 than at the end of 2010.


Read More: HERE


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New employment laws slam business with £23bn bill

The British Chamber of Commerce has calculated that new employment laws planned to be rolled out between 2011 and 2015 will cost UK businesses almost £23billion over the next four years. They warn that the resulting red tape which the Government pledged to reduce will be detrimental to job creation.

Despite a pledge from the Government to tackle the burden of red tape, the BCC’s Employment Timeline, published on Tuesday, shows a raft of new employment legislation set to come into force between April 2011 and April 2015.


There are seven major changes planned for 2011 alone, the BCC is urging the Government to match its rhetoric with reality – by starting the deregulation process and scrapping costly employment laws which are a burden on business, particularly smaller firms. They also warn against tinkering with “regulations” as implementing such changes are costly in themselves.


David Frost, Director General of the BCC said
“The Government claims business growth is top of the agenda, yet UK firms will be hit with huge costs once these new regulations come into force. Companies cannot generate growth and create jobs when they are facing a £23bn bill, just to implement new employment legislation. Unless the Government reduces this kind of red tape, we will continue to have high levels of unemployment and could end up derailing the recovery.

Some of the most costly regulations in the pipeline are:

• 2011: Right to Request Time off to Train will have an annual recurring  cost to business of £174.96m

• 2011: Agency Workers Directive will have an annual recurring cost to business of £1,548m

• 2012: Pensions Reform will have an annual recurring cost to business of £4,526m

Read more: HERE

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