British unemployment rate hits 16 year high
THE UK's unemployment rate increased to a 16-year high today after another rise in the jobless total.
Unemployment jumped by 48,000 in the quarter to December to 2.67 million, a jobless rate of 8.4pc, the worst figure since the end of 1995.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance rose by 6,900 in January to 1.6 million, the 11th consecutive monthly increase.
The number of women claiming the allowance increased by 1,500 last month to 531,700, the highest figure since the summer of 1995.
A record number of people are working part-time because they cannot find full-time jobs - up by 83,000 over the latest quarter to 1.35 million.
Employment increased by 60,000 to 29 million, mainly due to a rise of 90,000 in the number of part-time employees to 6.6 million.
Other data from the Office for National Statistics showed a 22,000 increase in youth unemployment to 1.04 million, which includes 307,000 in full-time education who were looking for work.
The 48,000 increase in unemployment was the smallest quarterly rise since last summer.
Economic inactivity, which includes students, long-term sick, people who have retired early or those who have given up looking for work, fell by 78,000 to 9.29 million, 23pc of the working age population.
Average pay increased by 2pc in the year to December, unchanged from the previous month, although in the public sector it fell by 0.2pc to 1.7pc the lowest figure since records began in 2001.
There were 1.39 million days lost through industrial disputes in the year to last December, the highest figure since 2002.
Around 164,000 workers were made redundant or took voluntary redundancy in the final quarter of last year, up by 17,000 from the three months to September.
The number of job vacancies increased by 11,000 in recent months to 476,000, although this was 21,000 down on a year ago.