Over 2.5 million people jobless in Britain

May 12th, 2010 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown London, May 12 (IANS) The new government in Britain was faced with a new crisis when official statistics Wednesday revealed the number of jobless people in the country to be over 2.5 million, while 8.17 million were “economically inactive”.
The number of people looking for work in the country in 2010 rose by 53,000 to 2.51 million, while the employment rate slumped to 72 percent, the lowest since 1996, figures from the Office for National Statistics said.

Other statistics revealed Wednesday said the number of people classified as “economically inactive” increased by 88,000 in 2010 and has reached a record high of 8.17 million. This includes students, people looking after a sick relative or those who have given up looking for work, the Independent reported.

Youth unemployment has also increased, with the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work up by 18,000 to 941,000.

The number of employed people fell by 76,000 to 28.83 million, following a reduction of 103,000 full-time workers. Job vacancies also fell by 6,000 to 475,000.

Long-term unemployment, including those out of work for over a year, increased by 94,000 to 757,000.

The report said public sector employment continued to grow in the final months of the Gordon Brown regime, up by 7,000 in the last quarter of 2009 to 6.1 million. There was, however, a fall of 61,000 jobs in private firms.

“While it failed to feature much in the election campaign, today’s rise shows that unemployment remains a pressing social and economic problem particularly among young people,” Brendan Barber, Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary, was quoted as saying.

“The rise confirms that the UK is still too fragile for small firms to take on new staff. As the country’s job creators, we know that small firms want to take on new staff but are put off by taxes and are cautious about whether the economy is strong enough, so the new government’s reversal of the payroll tax is welcome news,” John Walker, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for youth charity The Prince’s Trust said one in five young people is still out of work.

“These figures remind us of the vital need to support young people into jobs and training before the unemployed become the unemployable,” he said.

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