Unemployment expected to hit 2.5m

| January 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is to publish UK unemployment figures this morning and analysts expect the figure to be around the 2.5 million mark.

Figures last month revealed that UK unemployment rose by 21,000 in the three months to October to 2.491 million, taking the unemployment rate to 7.9% - a 13-year high.

However, the increase was slower than expected and was the smallest quarterly rise since March-May 2008

Furthermore, the number of Britons claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) fell for the first time since February 2008.

However, the jobless number is expected to rise again and some analysts believe the figure could surge beyond 3 million as early as next year as a result of the slump in demand for goods and services which continues to have an impact on British companies.

TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “The mixed signals in December’s unemployment figures showed the economy was still on a knife edge.

“Today’s figures will be a key indication of whether the encouraging signs in last month’s statistics were just a blip or a sign that Government investment to help people off the dole and stimulate the economy is really paying off,” he added.

Youth unemployment continues to be a concern as the figure is currently at its highest since records began in 1992. Worryingly, some are predicting that youth unemployment could exceed one million in the short-term - it is currently around the 950,000 mark.

Furthermore, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development recently warned that slow economic growth could result in a large amount of redundancies in the long-term.

The UK economy as a whole, which has now contracted for six consecutive quarters, has been lagging behind other economies and is now the last major economy that is still in recession.

Official figures on 26 January will confirm whether the economy saw positive growth in the fourth quarter.

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