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Labour Market Statistics
August 15 2007 - The unemployment rate remained at 5.4% - down by 0.2% over the quarter and 0.1% on last year. ILO-defined unemployment in April to June was 5.4%. This means that 1.650,000 million people were unemployed - down by 45,000 unemployed on the quarter and 29,000 from this time last year.
The claimant count for Jobseeker's Allowance was 855,300 in July - down by 8,500 on the previous month and down 99,800 on last year.
Caroline Flint, Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, said:
"This is a very strong set of figures: the total number on the main out of work benefits - Jobseeker's Allowance, Incapacity Benefits and lone parent benefits - has fallen by over one million since 1997. Employment is at near record levels and unemployment is down again.
However, according to an article in the Daily Mail on 16th August 2007 the unemployment rate is six times higher than the official figures. Nearly ten million people in Britain are out of work - more than six times the official unemployment rate. The 'hidden army' of jobless accounts for a quarter of the working-age population.
The details are buried in the quarterly release of jobs figures from the Office of National Statistics published yesterday. In the report small print, the ONS figures reveal that the real total is 9.6million, because a further 7.95million people in Britain are classed merely as 'economically inactive'.
They are not listed as unemployed but do not go to work because they are sick, looking after family or simply refuse to find a job.
While they are not claiming unemployment benefits, many rely on other handouts such as incapacity benefit.
The 'economically inactive' currently form 21.2 per cent of the working-age population - 124,000 more than a year ago and the second highest figure on record.
Some 1.89million of the current total are students, 2.35million are carers for elderly relatives or stay-at home mothers, and 2.04million are on long-term sickness.
A further 198,000 are on temporary sickness leave, 619,000 have retired early and 35,000 are classed as 'discouraged workers', meaning they are not interested in finding work.
Kieran O'Keeffe, policy adviser for the British Chambers of Commerce, described the increase as 'worrying'.
He added: "Whilst we accept that many people cannot work for valid reasons, such as those with caring responsibilities or in early retirement, there are many more that are claiming welfare in one form or another.
"These represent a "hidden unemployed", lost within the complexity of official statistics.
"This underlines the urgent need to find a long-term solution to welfare dependency, which, if left unchecked, will condemn a growing proportion of the working population to a cycle of low aspiration and worklessness."
"The 9.6million people of working age not working in Britain today represent a huge pool of wasted talent," he said.
"Many of these people could work, and would want to work, if given the right incentives and support."
If you feel that your position at work is under threat, or you have recently been made unemployed, you may wish to check out these useful sites on our unemployment links page.
You may find that the Unemployment Benefit paid in the UK is inadequate to cover your monthly outgoings. If this is the case you might wish to take out additional cover against Accident, Sickness, Disability or Unemployment.
You can insure your income against loss of earnings due to unemployment. Mortgage Protection cover is available up to £2,500 pounds per month, and is available to anyone in continuous employment between the ages of 18 and 64. However, you may wish to check out our unemployment protection site to check which type of policy is best for you.
If you wish to investigate unemployment in the uk in more detail, you will find contact details for the experts in this field on this page from the royal statistical society:-www.mimas.ac.uk
Another excellent resource is the government sponsored site:-www.statistics.gov.uk
Sometimes it pays to take advice if you want to know more about the benefits of each individual plan.
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