Unemployment slows in third quarter of 2009
16 November 2009
Despite the lowest quarterly increase in the number of adults out of work since figures for March-May 2008, the number of unemployed people has increased by another 30,000 from July to September 2009, taking the total jobless count to 2.46 million.
The level of long term unemployment (i.e. more than 12 months) increased by 71,000 over the quarter to reach 618,000, the highest figure since the three months to November 1997.
Whilst average earnings, excluding bonuses, were 1.8% higher than a year previously, this is not keeping pace with increases in essential household expenditure. With the cost of unsecured credit continuing to increase the levels of household disposable income continues to be squeezed.
Nearly one million employees and self-employed people were working part-time because they did not find a full-time job. This was the highest number since records began in 1992. 'Loss of income' has been the primary reason why people have started a EuroDebt Debt Management Plan over the last three quarters reported. Redundancies are up by 49,000 from a year ago, with 205,000 people reported in the 3 months to September 2009.
The employment rate was 72.5 per cent and there were 28.93 million employed people. The unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent and there were 2.46 million unemployed people.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) in October 2009 increased by 12,900 on the month to reach 1.64 million, the highest number of claimants since April 1997.
Kevin Still, Director of EuroDebt, commented on the latest figures: "Whilst it is encouraging that the rate of unemployment and redundancies has slowed, the figures are still going up and may continue to do so as we come out of recession. There is always a delayed effect and this is also reflected in insolvency figures, which are continuing to rise. We have also had recent good news on reductions in the levels of serious mortgage arrears and repossessions, but that is with interest rates at record low levels and they will inevitably go up - with the potential for impacting disposable income.
"It is interesting that the level of unemployment amongst women has improved, but continues to decline for men. We have also seen a disturbing rise in the number of people taking part-time jobs in the absence of long-term employment. This along with low or static pay increases is really putting pressure on household budgets. People aren't able to save or, perhaps, even make a dent in their unsecured debts. Household budgets need to be carefully monitored and if it is clear that there is a deficit at the end of the month without borrowing more then seek professional advice."