Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Unemployment rate hits 7.1%
Posted by David Smith at 02:30 PM
Category: Thoughts and responses

The monthly unemployment figures were not supposed to be released until tomorrow but the Office for National Statistics has been forced to release them early because some of the information leaked out. They show a big 244,000 rise in the Labour Force Survey measure of unemployment to 2.22 million in the first three months of the year, the unemployment rate rising from 6.7% to 7.1%. This was the biggest increase since 1981.

The claimant count showed a more modest April rise of 57,100 to 1.51m. Average earnings growth including bonuses fell by 0.4% on a year earlier, though ex-bonuses earnings continued to rise.

Though the first quarter figures were poor, these covered two months in each of which the claimant count rose by well over 100,000. The recent data was marginally more encouraging. More details here.