UK unemployment rose by 44,000 to almost 2.5 million

LONDON: The Office for National Statistics on Wednesday announced that UK unemployment rose by 44,000 to nearly 2.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The employment rate fell by 0.3 percent to 70.5 for those aged from 16 to 64. The number of people in employment fell by 68,000 on the quarter to reach 29.12 million. The number of employees working full-time increased by 66,000 to reach 18.23 million.

The unemployment rate for 2010 fourth quarter was 7.9 percent, a 0.1 percent increase on the quarter. This means that the total number of unemployed people increased by 44,000 over to reach 2.49 million.

Youth unemployment (people aged from 16 to 24) was the highest since records began in 1992 as the rate increased by 1.5 on the quarter to reach 20.5 percent. The number of people aged 16-24 and unemployed increased by 66,000 to reach 965,000.

Between December 2010 and January 2011, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance increased by 2,400 to reach 1.46 million. The number of male claimants has fallen for twelve consecutive months but the number of female claimants has increased for seven consecutive months.

The total number of male claimants fell by 5,400 on the month to reach 1.01 million in January but the number of female claimants increased by 7,800 to reach 449,200, the highest figure since October 1996.

The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 increased by 93,000 over the quarter to reach 9.36 million, a 0.2 percent increase in the quarter. People who retired before reaching the age of sixty-five increased by 49,000 on the quarter to reach 1.57 million, the highest figure 1993.

"We've got a long way to go and I want to see these figures start to come down, but certainly the evidence is over the past month things have settled down and we are not seeing the increases we saw earlier in the last quarter," said Employment Minister Chris Grayling.

The British government said that the figures of the fourth quarter of 2010 indicated that unemployment was starting to stabilize. Since October, there has been 40,000 job vacancies more than in the previous quarter.


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