Wednesday, 18 March 2009
More than 2 million on the dole!
Unemployment has surged past two million for the first time in 12 years, while the number of people signing on for benefit soared by a record 138,000 last month.
The Government has been hit by a raft of gloomy news, with redundancies reaching a record high, jobs and vacancies falling and more people claiming jobseeker's allowance.
The total number of people out of work, including those not eligible for benefit, jumped by 165,000 in the quarter to January to 2.03 million, the worst figure since Labour came to power in 1997.
The quarterly rise is the highest since 1991, and the total has now increased by 421,000 over the past year, said the Office for National Statistics.
Jobseeker's allowance claimants increased by 138,400 in February, the 13th consecutive monthly rise and the largest monthly increase since records began in 1971.
The new total of 1.39 million is almost 600,000 higher than a year ago and is the highest figure since 1998.
A total of 266,000 people became redundant in the three months to January, the worst figure since records began in 1995 and up by 86,000 on the previous quarter.
The number of jobs fell by 203,000 to 31.3 million in the quarter to December, the largest slump since 1992.
Vacancies fell by 74,000 to 482,000 in the three months to February, the lowest total since comparable records began in 2001.
Other figures showed that average earnings increased by 1.8% in the year to January, the lowest since records began in 1991, while for the month of January alone wages fell by 0.2% - the first time this has ever happened.
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