Youth Unemployment Hits Record High

(Independent) – YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT reached a record high today as the jobless total nudged 2.5 million, the worst total since the mid-1990s.

The number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work was 952,000 in the three months to October, a quarterly rise of 6,000 and the highest figure since records began in 1992.

Total unemployment increased by 21,000 to 2.49 million, the highest level since early 1995, although the quarterly rise was the smallest for 18 months.

There was some good pre-Christmas news for the Government in today’s figures, which showed the first fall in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance since February last year.

The total fell by 6,300 to 1.6 million, more than half a million higher than a year ago.

Other data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of people out of work for more than a year increased by 49,000 in the latest quarter to 620,000, the worst total since 1997.

Unemployment among 18 to 24-year-olds was 757,000, up by 26,000 from the three months to July, the highest since 1993.

The UK’s unemployment rate has now reached a 13-year high of 7.9 per cent.

The number of people in work increased by 53,000 to almost 29 million, although the figure is 432,000 lower than a year ago.

There were 30 million jobs in the economy in September, down by 127,000 over the quarter and 649,000 fewer than a year ago.

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including those on long-term sickness or who have given up looking for a job, was 7.9 million, down by 1,000 over the three months but up by 96,000 compared to last year.

More than one in five working-age people are now economically inactive.

Average earnings increased by 1.5 per cent in the year to October, up by 0.1 per cent on the previous month.

The ONS also revealed today that public sector employment increased by 23,000 in the third quarter of the year to just over six million.

Employment in central government rose by 31,000, mainly because of growth in the NHS.

There were 432,000 job vacancies in the economy in the three months to November, up by 1,000 from the quarter to August but down by 124,000 from a year earlier.

[In Castle Point the claimant count was up 63.1 per cent in October on the same time last year, by 669 to 1,814. This figure was down 4.6 per cent over the previous month.]

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