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So what’s really happening on the job front…

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data this month that showed the UK unemployment level falling to 2.58 million (a reduction of 61,000 people) in the three months to May 2012. This represents a rate of 8.1% against a figure of 8.3% reported in the previous quarter.
Details reveal that the number of people now in employment rose by 181,000 to 29.35 million and, encouragingly, unemployment among 16-24 year olds fell to 1.02 million, a reduction of 10,000.
Self-employed people (both full and part time) rose by 32,000, which was an increase of 0.8% on the quarter and represented an increase of 166,000 to 4.16 million, or 4.2%, compared to the same period a year ago.
On the negative side, the number of people who have been unemployed for more than two years increased by 18,000 to a total of 441,000. This is a 15 year high. Also those claiming Jobseekers Allowance increased by 6,100 to a total of 1.6 million.
Regionally, the picture was mixed, with about 50% showing negative figures. An example of this is Wales, which saw unemployment increase from 8.8% to 9%, and Yorkshire and Humber, which saw unemployment rise from 9.3% to 9.7%.
Whilst Scotland saw their rate fall by 0.2% to 8% and the North East’s unemployment rate fell from 11.2% to 10.9%, the latter remains the region with the highest unemployment rate in the UK. The South West was the best region, reporting an unemployment rate of just 5.9%.
Commenting on these figures, Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister, said that unemployment was: “still much too high.”
He went on to say: “But, I’m at least encouraged, in what are difficult times economically, that we are seeing improvements across the board.”
Adding further encouraging prospects, the forthcoming London 2012 Olympics should further boost the short-term employment picture.
A spokesman for Commerzbank, Peter Dixon, stated that it was: “entirely possible that there will be a temporary boost due to the Olympics, possible that there will be more to come, but if this is Olympic-related temporary hiring, it is likely to be unwound again later in the year.”

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