NOW the cuts are biting – and the figures are terrible
Today’s unemployment figures are shockingly bad (pdf).
- Unemployment rose by 80,000 to 2.51 million – the biggest rise since August 2009, when we were still in recession.
- The number of unemployed women is now at its highest level since 1988.
- One in five young people aged between 16 and 24 is now out of work.
- The number of vacancies fell once more and there are now 5.5 unemployed people seeking every available job in the UK.
- Average earnings (including bonuses) rose by only 2.8% on the year before, compared to Retail Price Inflation of 5.2%. Real wages therefore fell by 2.4%. Even those in work have less spending power than a year ago.
The increase in unemployment was driven by a large fall in public sector jobs.
In the three months to June, public sector employment fell by 111,000 whilst private sector jobs grew by only 41,000. In other words the private sector only created 1 job for every 2.7 jobs lost in the public sector.
Crucially the three months to June (that these figures cover) saw the start of the new financial year and the beginnings of real austerity from the government. On these numbers, the government’s cuts agenda is off to a truly awful start.
Duncan Weldon is senior policy officer at the TUC and blogs at Touchstone.
(Abusive or off-topic comments will be deleted)