Unemployment in the UK Hits a 15-Year Record

Official data out today has revealed that the UK has reached a new 15-year record level of unemployment at 2.5 million. Despite a decrease in the number of people taking jobless benefits, the unemployment rate still rose to 8 percent… its highest rate since 1996.

According to the Times:

“The number of ‘inactive’ people in the economy, classed as those who are not working because they are ill, studying or looking after children, also rose again, by 110,000 in the quarter, to reach a record high of 8.16 million.

“However, the number of people on jobless benefits dropped by 32,900 in March to 1.54 million. Experts said that unemployment benefit claimants had fallen because new training schemes were helping young people stay off the dole. The number of Britons in government training and employment schemes has risen by 12,000, or 11.2 per cent, in the three months to February, the official figures show.

“Colin Ellis, European economist at Daiwa Capital Markets, said that schemes could be delaying a further rise in unemployment. ‘With private sector job creation still a long way off, the risk is that, while these students do not currently boost measured unemployment, trouble is just being stored up for further down the line,’ he said.”

On top of the 2.5 million people that make up the “regular” unemployed, the article adds another 8.16 million “economically inactive.” It’s a giant number for an Oregon-sized island with only about 62 million inhabitants. Much like its US offspring, the British politicians can slice and dice the numbers to tell any type of story they find worthy of furthering their ends. Yet, regardless of spin, it’s clearly another nation muddling its way through its own jobless “recovery.”
You can read more details in coverage from The Times of how UK unemployment is surging higher.


Rocky Vega,
The Daily Reckoning