Press release

Grayling: Figures reaffirm our commitment to growth and to getting young people into work

Global economy must not derail plans to stimulate growth and help young people secure employment, Employment Minister Chris Grayling says.

The challenge of the global economy must not derail plans to stimulate growth and help young people secure employment, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said today.

New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today, show a rise in unemployment (ILO measure) to 2.62 million. The figures are a reflection of the impact the economic problems in the Eurozone and slower growth in the wider global economy are having on the UK. However, the claimant count rise of 5,000 in October to 1.6 million overall shows signs of slowing. The number of vacancies has risen in the three months to October, up 7,000 on the previous quarter to 462,000.

Today’s figures show a rise in the number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds to 1.02 million, although the number of full-time students looking for a job rose to 286,000, leaving the underlying number of youth unemployed at 730,000.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

These figures show just how much our economy is being affected by the crisis in the Eurozone. Our European partners must take urgent action to stabilise the position.

Our challenge in the autumn statement will be to put in place additional measures to support growth and create employment opportunities, especially for young people.

At a meeting with business leaders today the Employment Minister will discuss the current unemployment challenge and explore how to open up the jobs market to young people.

The Government is determined to tackle youth unemployment and has already launched a number of initiatives to help young people get back into the labour market. Their plans will see 350,000 young people helped in the next two years alone.

Work experience gives young people the chance to go into businesses for up to eight weeks and has resulted in 50 per cent of participants moving off benefits a month after completing the scheme.

Last month the Government announced that sector-based work academies are now up and running across the country and will offer a programme combining real training, work experience and a guaranteed interview which will give young people another platform to get into a job. In total there will be around 150,000 work experience or sector-based work academy places over the next two years to help young people.

The Work Programme is up and running and provides jobseekers with help to get back into sustained employment. Private and voluntary sector organisations are investing £581m upfront in the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen to provide tailored support built around the needs of individuals. Organisations will be paid by results and allowed to develop support that really addresses the needs of jobseekers.

The Government will continue to expand and improve the apprenticeships programme, tailoring support where it is most needed to drive growth and give people the skills they need to get on. Provisional data show 442,700 Apprenticeship starts for the 2010/11 academic year, an increase of around 50 per cent on 2009/10.  In 2011-12 the Government will increase funding for apprenticeships to over £1.4bn, and work with employers to ensure that more high quality training opportunities are available for young people.

The employment rate for those not born in the UK has risen 181,000 in a year with particular rises in the EU accession countries, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as Africa.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: November 2011

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers July to September 2011. The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 13th and 7th October 2011 respectively.

The number of people in work fell this quarter
  • 29.07 million people were in work in July to September 2011.
  • the employment level fell 197 thousand on the previous quarter and 109 thousand on the year.
  • the employment rate is 70.2%, down 0.4 points on the quarter and 0.5 points on the year.
ILO unemployment rose this quarter
  • 2.62 million people were ILO unemployed in the July to September quarter, up by 129 thousand on the April to June period and up 172 thousand on the same quarter last year.
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 8.3%, up 0.4 percentage points on the quarter and 0.5 percentage points on the year.
The number of people on JSA rose again this month, but the number claiming one of the other main out-of-work benefits is improving
  • claimant unemployment was 1,598.4 thousand in October 2011, up 5.3 thousand on the level in September 2011, and up 135.6 thousand on the year.
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 5.0%, is unchanged on the month but up 0.4 percentage points on the year.
  • the figures continue to be affected by welfare reform, including the ongoing process to re-assess existing claims for incapacity benefits, and this is likely to have made some contribution to the rise in the JSA caseload.
  • in the year to May 2011, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 43,000 to 2.57 million. The most recent provisional figure for September 2011 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.56 million.
  • in the year to May 2011, the number of lone parents on income support fell 84,000 to 595,400. Provisional figures for September 2011 suggest the number has fallen further in recent months, to 590,000, driven by welfare reform.
The level of economic inactivity is up on the quarter and on the year
  • the economic inactivity level is 9.4 million, up 64 thousand on the quarter and 92 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 23.3%, up 0.1 points on the quarter and year.
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.6%, unchanged on the quarter and on the year.
The number of redundancies fell but unfilled vacancies rose on the quarter
  • There were 147 thousand redundancies in July to September 2011, down 7 thousand on the previous quarter but up 2 thousand on the year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 462 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to October 2011, up 7 thousand on the quarter and 6 thousand on the year.
Total weekly pay in July to September was up by 2.3% over the year
  • growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 1.7% on the year.

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