Wednesday, June 15

Unemployment in the UK

The number of unemployed people fell by 15,000 in the period February to April, latest figures show.

However, the impact of the MG Rover job losses pushed the claimant count measure up by 13,200 in May, taking the total to 855,300.

Around half the increase in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits was put down to the car company's collapse.

"The trend assessments are that both the employment and unemployment rates have levelled off," said the Office for National Statistics. Work and pensions secretary David Blunkett said the figures told "a positive story about the British labour market".

"They demonstrate our success in creating more jobs, in cutting unemployment and moving people into work, particularly people who have in the past been outside the labour market," he added.

The ONS data showed there are 28.6 million people in work, up 196,000 over the last 12 months.

Taking the credit for the success of British Business Blunket continued:

"In my first month as work and pensions secretary, I have seen the positive contribution our policies make in helping people get back to work. "I am, however, concerned to see a rise this month in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits, even though the number of people dependent on these benefits remains at levels not seen for 30 years. We have a platform of high employment that is the envy of others. But I am not prepared to accept that this is the best we can do. We are continuing to help those affected by the MG Rover redundancies to return to work as quickly as possible. ''
David Bluked concluded:
''And we must re-double our efforts to extend employment opportunity to all, especially to those who have become stuck on benefit for long periods of time."

What is not being widely published, or stated by Blunket is that some 1,000 small businesses are under threat directly due to the Rover collapse !

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