UK Unemployment Numbers Deliver Mixed Message
A growing number of people in the UK are enduring long-term unemployment or are only able to find part-time jobs. That's the real story behind Britain's latest unemployment numbers, released today by the Office of National Statistics, indicating a slight drop of 0.1 %.
However, the number of people in employment has also fallen. An increasingly large number of those in the labor market are inactive, many of them students unable to find work despite graduating in 2009.
While the headlines will probably focus on the drop in unemployment of 0.1%, the change is so small it could simply be a statistical error.
The most significant number from the last three months of reporting, is the almost 10% increase in those out of work for more than 12 months as well as the tens of thousands of people who want to work full-time but are forced to take part-time positions. This trend has also forced recent college graduates to take up internships for little or no monetary reward, simply to get work experience.
There are almost 700,000 job-seekers who've not had employment for over a year, according to the report. The number of students unable to find jobs is the highest since record keeping began in 1993.
One figure that dropped out of this statistical mix and possibly offers a genuine glimmer of hope is that job vacancies rose to 39,000, or nearly 9%.