Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Labour market softens
Posted by David Smith at 11:15 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

I've said before that it would be a minor miracle if we get through the winter without some rise in unemployment and that appears to be the case. Employment fell by 33,000 in the three months to October, a drop entirely attributable to a fall in public sector employment. Unemployment rose by 35,000 to 2.5m, or 7.9% of the workforce, up 0.1 points on the quarter.

Though the claimant count dropped by 1,200 to 1.46m, the figures underline the challenge of keeping unemployment down while the public sector is shedding jobs, I think it can be done but these figures will give ammunition to the government's critics. More here, and more details below..

The unemployment rate for the three months to October 2010 was 7.9 per cent, up 0.1 on the quarter. This is the first quarterly increase in the unemployment rate since the three months to April 2010. The total number of unemployed people increased by 35,000 over the quarter to reach 2.50 million. Male unemployment increased by 11,000 on the quarter to reach 1.46 million and the number of unemployed women increased by 24,000 on the quarter to reach 1.04 million, the highest figure since the three months to May 1988. There were 839,000 people unemployed for over twelve months, the highest figure since the three months to February 1997 and up 41,000 on the quarter.

There were 158,000 redundancies in the three months to October 2010, up 15,000 on the quarter. This is the first quarterly increase in redundancies since the three months to April 2010.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (the claimant count) fell by 1,200 between October and November 2010 to reach 1.46 million.