UK unemployment expected to hit 2.3m

| July 15, 2009 | 0 Comments

Last month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that UK unemployment had reached 2.26 million - the highest level since November 1996, while the unemployment rate rose to 7.2% - the highest since July 1997.

The ONS is set to reveal official figures later today that could show the total number of people out of work is around 2.3 million.

The pace of rise in unemployment has steadied over recent months but analysts are warning that due to the tens of thousands of school leavers and graduates struggling to find jobs, the pace could accelerate once again.

Last month, TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber said the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds now stands at 16.6% and commented: “Youth unemployment is now at its highest rate for 15 years. And it will get worse when millions of fresh school leavers and graduates start looking for work in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, some analysts are warning the number of people out of work could reach 3.2 million by next year.

As a result, leading business groups are urging the Government to take urgent action.

A report by influential think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), said new sources of growth are needed because the industrial make-up of the economy is changing.

Co-author of the report, Rachel Reeves, said: “As a nation we can no longer rely on banking, retail and the public sector to create the jobs we need.”

“If we are to get Britain back to work, there will have to be large increases in the jobs available in hi-tech manufacturing and private service sectors such as the creative industries. This could happen, but only with the right combination of entrepreneurship and Government action.”

In the meantime, a survey commissioned by the BBC found 67% of respondents knew someone personally who had been made unemployed.

The survey of 1,048 people by ComRes also found a further 4 in 10 fear losing their job in the current economic climate.

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