British unemployment up 137,000 at 1.86 million

Status
Not open for further replies.

TeamPlayer

Yellow Belt
LONDON (AP) — The number of jobless in Britain rose further toward the 2 million mark in the three months to October as the economy continues to slow at a dramatic pace, official figures showed Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics said the number of unemployed using the International Labor Organization measure increased by 137,000 in the three months to August to a nine-year high of 1.86 million. The rise took the unemployment rate up to 6.0 percent for the first time since mid-1999, from 5.8 percent the previous month.

The statistics office also said that the number of people claiming the jobseekers allowance — the main benefit available to the newly unemployed — rose by 75,000 in November from the previous month to 1.07 million, its highest level since July 2000. The increase was the biggest since March 1991 when the British economy was last mired in a deep recession.

The increase in the claimant count was bigger than the 50,000 anticipated by economists and provided further evidence that the contraction in British output currently taking place is hitting the labor market hard.

"It is clear that, as in the U.S., conditions in the labor market are now deteriorating very quickly, threatening to feed back into yet further weakness in the housing market and economic activity in general," said Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics.

Associated Press
 

TeamPlayer

Yellow Belt
Unemployment nears 2 million

Unemployment in Britain climbed nearer the 2 million mark in January as it soared to its highest level since 1997.

The Office for National Statistics said today the wider ILO measure of unemployment, which also counts those seeking work but not claiming benefit, rose to 1.971 million in the three months to December. Many economists had expected it to breach the 2 million mark.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit rose by 73,900 last month – the fastest rate since February 2000, but less than some economists had expected.

Stephen Lewis, chief economist at Monument Securities, said: "The figures were not quite so bad as widely anticipated. That may simply be a timing difference. We know that in January there were a lot more lay-offs."

The unemployment figures are widely expected to get much worse as many of the recent job losses are yet to feed into the official data. A further 17,000 high street jobs were under threat yesterday as crucial talks between the sportswear retailer JJB Sports and its banks were coming to a head, while Stylo, the owner of the Barratts shoe chain, warned 5,400 jobs were at risk unless its creditors backed a plan to restructure the business.

guardian.co.uk
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top