Unemployment figures

Jobless claimant count shows surprise rise

The closely watched Jobseeker's Allowance claimant count rose by an unexpected 2,300 last month to 1.47 million, marking the first increase since January, official figures today revealed.





Unemployment also fell by less than expected in the three months to July, down 8,000 to 2.47 million.



However, Britain saw the largest rise in employment since records began in the quarter as 286,000 more people secured jobs.





The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested the recordbreaking leap in employment came largely as those classed as economically inactive, such as students, took on jobs.











Employment minister Chris Grayling said: "Today's jump in employment, driven by the private sector, is good news but it doesn't disguise the fact that the system the Government inherited is failing to get people on welfare into these jobs.



"It is neither fair for the nearly five million people on benefits, nor the taxpayer who supports them.



"That's why we are pressing ahead with re-testing everyone claiming incapacity benefits and introducing our new Work Programme, which will give people the tailored support they need to move them into sustained work."



Mr Grayling said the biggest quarterly rise in employment on record, driven by the private sector, was welcome news but he added that the fact that these jobs were not being filled by people on benefits underlined the need for urgent reform.



He said that while the number of people in employment rose by 286,000 on the latest quarter, the nearly five million people claiming the three main out-of-work benefits had not improved significantly, with a slight increase this month in the numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance.









The quarterly rise in employment, which was the largest since the ONS began collecting the data in 1971, was driven by a rise in both part-time and full-time workers.



Those in part-time work increased by 166,000 quarter-on-quarter to 7.9 million in the three months to July, but the number of full-time workers soared by 121,000 to 21.2 million in an encouraging sign for the UK labour market.



Today's data also showed the unemployment rate easing to 7.8% in the quarter to July.



But the figures suggest the rise in employment may be primarily down to economically inactive people finding work, rather than unemployed people getting jobs.



In particular, the ONS said more students may be taking on part-time jobs alongside their studies.



The number of full-time students in employment rose by 47,000 in the three months to July, while those students classed as economically inactive fell by 62,000.



Fears over the impact on unemployment levels ahead of the Government's public sector spending cuts are unlikely to subside, with the data showing a mixed picture.



The rise in those seeking Jobseeker's Allowance will cause concern, with experts already warning the private sector may not be strong enough to compensate for the 600,000 public sector jobs expected to go over the next five years.



The number of long-term unemployed is another worry, with those out of work for more than 12 months up 16,000 to 797,000 in the three months to July, according to the ONS.



There was some modest good news on wages in the data, which showed a 1.5% rise in pay in the year to July, up from 1.3% previously.







Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway said: "There is no doubt the demand is building in both our business and leisure markets, leading to our current recruitment drive. This week we have inducted 170 new cabin crew and have launched our engineering apprenticeship scheme for school leavers."



Virgin Atlantic is also recruiting for 120 new roles in its new customer service centre in Swansea.











Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service and Business Support Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: By developing intimate relationships with inte...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service and Business Support Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Highly successful private company - Oundle bas...

Recruitment Genius: PA to Consultant Surgeon

£25000 - £25500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Service Manager - Franchised Dealership

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific