Unemployment ‘set to stay high’

The UK may have seen recent falls in unemployment, but it may not return to the levels it was at before the 2008-09 recession for nearly four more yea…

The UK may have seen recent falls in unemployment, but it may not return to the levels it was at before the 2008-09 recession for nearly four more years, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said.

The TUC study has concluded that if the rate at which joblessness fell between January and June this year remained steady, it would take three years and eight months for the figure to fall from its present 2.458 million to the pre-crash figure of 1,585,000 – another 873,000.

Some might note that joblessness has continued falling even with the country in a second recession and is therefore likely to drop at a quicker rate with the economy now growing again.

However for many people, the loss of jobs may have already been very costly, as it has led to them being unable to meet their debt repayments due to losing their income.

Those in such circumstances may find they need a debt management plan or other means of easing their burden, even if they do get back into work.

For unemployed people in some parts of the country, hopes of getting back into work may be bleak, with TUC general secretary Brendan Barber commenting: "Although overall unemployment has fallen slightly in recent months in a number places there are parts of Britain where it is getting worse."

The TUC study found Yorkshire and the Humber, the East of England and Scotland have all endured increases in unemployment since January.

One notable feature of recent employment trends has been a shift between the public and private sectors.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data for the period between March and June 2012 showed there was a rise in private sector jobs of 471,000, while 235,000 fewer people were employed in the public sector.

However, the ONS noted this was partly due to some educational bodies being reclassified from the public to the private sectors.

By Joe White

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