UK unemployment increased by its slowest rate for 18 months in the third quarter of the year, hitting a lower than expected total of 2.46 million.
According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), some 7.8% of the working age population are now unemployed, up by just 0.1% since the previous quarter.
The number of people in full-time employment fell by 80,000 between July and September, while the number of people in part-time work increased by 86,000. This brings the total number of part-time employees in the UK to a record high of 7.66million.
According to ONS’s report, 997,000 employees and self-employed people were working part-time in the third quarter of 2009 because they were unable to find a full-time job.
Effects of unemployment
The unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds increased by 0.7% between July and September, to reach a record high of 18%. This has sparked debate among politicians, who have expressed concern that young people who are detached from the job market for too long may be permanently ‘lost’ to employment.
Long-term unemployment increased during the third quarter, as the number of people who have been out of work for more than 12 months rose to 618,000. This was the highest figure recorded by the ONS since the three months to November 1997.
However, there was also a small increase in the number of employed people during the period, with an extra 6,000 people finding work. According to ONS, this was the first quarterly rise in the number of individuals employed since May-July 2008.
If you’ve been made redundant or are concerned about losing your job, take a look at the Which? guide to surviving redundancy. It contains tips on how to prepare for redundancy, as well as information on what you can expect from your employer.
And for tips on how to survive the economic downturn, check out the Which? guide to recession-proofing your finances.
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