One in five young people are now out of work, according to the latest unemployment figures.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a further 15,000 16 to 24-year-olds are now unemployed – a total of 949,000 people or 20.2%.
It comes as the figures show that in the three months from April to June, there was a surprise rise of 38,000 in the total number of unemployed, rising to a total of 2.49m, or 7.9% of the working population.
The number of people claiming benefits also rose, up 37,100 to 1.52m, far exceeding analysts’ predictions of a 20,000 rise.
It was the third consecutive monthly rise and the biggest jump since May 2009.
THE STRUGGLE TO TACKLE YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said:
“Today’s rise in unemployment points to a worrying deterioration in the UK labour market.
“And with our so-called ‘recovery’ stagnating, all the indicators point to further rises in joblessness.
“The number of vacancies is now down to levels last seen in 2009, while female unemployment is at a 23-year high. As public sector job losses mount, employment prospects for many women are looking bleak.
“It is also worrying to see the unwelcome return of rising youth unemployment, with more than one in five young people currently out of work.”
The labour market has been surprisingly robust throughout the financial crisis and employment has risen despite a sluggish economic recovery.
However, recent economic surveys have indicated that firms are scaling back hiring plans, raising doubts about the ability of private companies to make up for public sector jobs losses caused by the government’s spending cuts.
On Monday the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said the UK could see unemployment rising again in the third quarter of the year, according to a survey of over 1,000 employers.
Figures by the body suggest that public sector cuts will outstrip jobs being created in the private sector.
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