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Wednesday 12th of August 2009
May 14, 2009

Unemployment in the UK rising at record pace


by Kay Murchie
”Unemployment

The UK’s unemployment rate currently stands at 7.1% and has risen by 1.3 percentage points since the third quarter of last year, and according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) - this is a rate not seen since the early 1980s.

Job losses have been particularly rife in the finance and business services sector (one of the UK’s three largest sources of employment). In the three quarters to March 2009, job losses were steeper in this sector than at any time since the second quarter of 1978.

In the meantime, the West Midlands has suffered high levels of redundancies together with large falls in vacancies and high unemployment.

The North East, the North West, and Yorkshire all have higher than average unemployment, while the South East, South West and Eastern regions are below the national average.

However, returning to the finance sector, the financial turmoil resulted in a vast amount of job losses with a loss of around 200,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The ONS concludes that even though the rate of unemployment is similar to that seen in the early 1980s, the UK’s population has grown considerably so the total number of unemployed are higher in this recession.

Earlier this week, the ONS revealed that the number of people out of work in the UK has reached 2.2 million.

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