On a daily basis, I work with people who have been recently made redundant. Helping them to explore opportunities beyond the corporate world. However, to learn that more than 1million people in the UK are currently claiming unemployment benefits due to job loss is just astonishing. Furthermore to hear that economists except this number to reach 3million by the end of next year, well leaves me almost at a loss for words. These really are interesting times.
Rosie Lavan, Times Online, 17 December 2000
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit has soared past one million for the first time in eight years, after rising at the fastest rate since 1991.
The number on jobseeker’s allowance rose by 75,700 in November – the fastest monthly rise since 1991 and 42 per cent higher than the 44,000 increase in claimants economists had forecast for November.
In October, the number rose by 36,500, less than half of the surprise 75,700 rise announced today. Total claimants in the UK has now hit 1.07 million and is the highest number since January 2001.
Today’s figures also show that the total number of people out of work in the UK rose by 137,000 to 1.864 million for the three months to the end of October, the highest rate since June 1999.
It means that 6 per cent of the British population is now unemployed, a 0.4 per cent rise on the previous three months and up 0.7 per cent on the same period in 2007.
The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, measure the number of people who claimed unemployment benefit during November.
They also record the total number of unemployed people in the UK for the three months from August to October.
Sterling hit a record low against the euro shortly after the figures were released at 91.03p, while sterling also hit a session low against the dollar, dropping to $1.5493.
The pound was also depressed by minutes from the Bank of England, which showed the Monetary Policy Committee had considered a more drastic rate cut in November than the 1 per cent reduction. The minutes showed the committee’s decision to take the rates to 2 per cent was unanimous.