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Unemployment Rises

Unemployment Rises
Action needed to help jobless young people says REC
The latest unemployment figures published today by the Office for National Statistics, has shown the number of people out of work has risen by 23,000 to 2.47 million in the three months up to April.
Commenting on these figures, Kevin Green, the RECs Chief Executive said:Its disappointing to see the number of people out of work edging towards 2.5 million again. We do not believe that we will get near the three million mark that some have predicted, especially as we are seeing signs of increasing confidence and demand for staff in the private sector. However, there are legitimate concerns over how public sector expenditure cuts will impact on jobs.
Its particularly worrying to see that there are currently 926,000 16-24 year olds that arent in work or some form of training. We need to do more to help these young people get on the first rung of the jobs ladder if we are to avoid a jobless generation. The REC will be making specific recommendations to Government on youth employment issues over the next few weeks. It is not all about Government action: the UK business community has a pivotal role to play in build bridges into the world of work for the increasing number of young job-seekers.
Flat official labour market figures signal start of public sector jobs cull
Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) comments as follows on official labour market statistics published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which update the Labour Force Survey measures of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity to the quarterly period February-April 2010, Public and Private sector employment to March 2010, the count of people unemployed and claiming Jobseekers Allowance to May 2010, and average weekly earnings for April 2010:
Judging by these latest figures the UK jobs market is in somewhat better shape than for a while but remains fairly flat. The rise in headline unemployment has slowed, claimant unemployment continues to fall, and employment is broadly stable with growth in private sector jobs (up 12,000 in the three months to March) just outstripping a fall (down 7,000) in public sector jobs. The rise in headline unemployment is again dampened by a rise in the number of economically inactive people, though in a break with recent trends this is due to more people giving up looking for work saying they are long-term sick rather than an increase in student numbers (student numbers having fallen in the latest quarter).
Signs of recovery in the private sector jobs market which reflect the findings of forward looking surveys of employers hiring intentions, including the CIPDs own quarterly survey - are welcome but beg the question whether the private sector will be able to fill the jobs gap once the process of public sector downsizing gets fully underway. Spending cuts announced by the coalition government for the current financial year will reduce public sector employment by around 50,000 by next spring, on top of any reductions already in the pipeline. And next weeks Emergency Budget will contain measures that will lead to a subsequent mass cull of public sector jobs. In the absence of a strong private sector jobs recovery, the cull will lift headline unemployment toward 3 million by 2012.
Moreover, while the private sector jobs market is improving all the net new jobs being created at present are either part-time, temp positions or filled by the self-employed. The number of employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job has increased to 1.08 million, the highest level recorded since comparable figures were introduced in 1992. And while formal public sector jobs are falling its clear that spending by the previous government on training and employment programmes for the unemployed supported a substantial increase in the number of young people in work during the early part of this year. The February-April quarter saw the first quarterly increase (48,000) in the number of 18-24 year olds in work since the start of the jobs recession in 2008. The coalition government will need to demonstrate that its welfare to work measures can maintain this momentum at a time when public spending is being cut.
Grayling: forgotten millions MUST get help into work
The latest employment figures show that record numbers of people of working age are now economically inactive. They also show the scale of the welfare challenge that the new Government has to tackle.
New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today show that while the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance has gone down this month, there are nearly five million people claiming one of the main out of work benefits.
Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said: These figures underline why it was so important to stop the jobs tax planned by the previous Government, and why we need to create real incentives for businesses to grow and create job opportunities.
"The figures also demonstrate why our planned Work Programme is so important. With nearly five million people on out of work benefits and record numbers of people who are economically inactive, we have to make sure that as the economy grows and jobs are created in the next few years that we learn from the mistakes of the past, and ensure that we provide real help and support for people on benefits so they can take advantage of employment opportunities and make the move into work.
The single Work Programme will offer personalised support to people on a range of benefits, including Jobseekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefits and Employment and Support Allowance.
Ministers have confirmed that they are determined to move quickly on setting up the new programme, which they plan to launch early next year.


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