Jobless total down - but claimant figures up

Unemployment has fallen by 20,000, but the number of people out of work for longer than a year has risen to its highest total in 13 years, new figures showed today.

The numbers claiming Jobseeker's Allowance increased by 5,300 in September to 1.47 million, the second consecutive monthly rise, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Total unemployment, including those not eligible for benefit, fell to 2.45 million in the three months to August, the lowest so far this year.

This was almost entirely due to 16 and 17-year-olds finding work, training or education.

Female unemployment increased by 36,000 over the latest quarter to just over a million, while the number of vacancies across the economy was 30,000 down in the three months to September to 459,000, the biggest quarterly reduction since the start of 2009.

The number of people out of work for over a year was 821,000 in the quarter to August, up by 27,000 from the previous three months, reaching the highest total since early 1997.

Jobless 18 to 24-year-olds increased by 35,000 to 742,000, the highest for a year.

Meanwhile, the number of people in work increased by 178,000 to 29.16 million, the best figure for a year.

Employment is up by 241,000 on the year but is still 270,000 lower than before the start of the recession.

The latest unemployment rate is 7.7%, a fall of 0.1% on the quarter, while the claimant count rate remained at 4.5%.

There were 9.28 million people classed as economically inactive in the quarter to August, down by 66,000, largely because of a fall in the number of students counted in the figure.

The number of workers in part-time jobs reached a record high of almost eight million, while self-employment also grew to a new record of almost four million.

Average earnings increased by 1.7% in the year to August, up by 0.4% on the previous month, giving average weekly earnings of £451.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: "Another rise in employment is a step in the right direction but clearly our priority is to get the economy motoring again, reduce the deficit and make the UK an attractive place for investment to encourage growth.

"We are pressing ahead with radically overhauling the welfare system, with reassessments of those on incapacity benefits in Burnley and Aberdeen beginning this week.

From early next year our Work Programme will come into force to ensure that long-term unemployed people and others who need it have tailored support to move them into sustained work."

The Government said the UK economy still faced "significant challenges" ahead and it must continue to tackle the deficit and create an environment where businesses can flourish and create jobs.

The increase in the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance this month showed that the Government was right to press ahead with its new Work Programme, said Mr Grayling.

Unemployment in the regions between June and August was:

Region Total unemployed Change on quarter Unemployment rate

North East 116,000 minus 5,000 9%

North West 277,000 minus 8,000 8%

Yorkshire/Humber 247,000 plus 1,000 9.3%

East Midlands 171,000 plus 5,000 7.5%

West Midlands 216,000 minus 14,000 8%

East 203,000 plus 4,000 6.8%

London 377,000 minus 6,000 9.1%

South East 282,000 plus 15,000 6.3%

South West 153,000 minus 14,000 5.7%

Wales 118,000 minus 12,000 8.2%

Scotland 231,000 plus 13,000 8.6%

N Ireland 58,000 unchanged 7%

Vicky Redwood, senior economist at Capital Economics, said the figures provided further evidence that the labour market recovery is faltering, even before the public sector job cuts begin.

She said: "The 5,300 rise in claimant count unemployment in September was the second monthly increase in a row and, although small, suggests that the trend has turned.

"Admittedly, employment still rose strongly, by 178,000 in the three months to August. But this was a smaller rise than in the previous couple of months and the more forward-looking employment surveys have by and large been weakening."

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said he also expected a deteriorating trend to emerge.

"We suspect that unemployment is headed up over the coming months as a consequence of slower, below-trend growth, rising business caution and public sector jobs being increasingly pared.

"Specifically, we see unemployment on the ILO measure peaking around 2.85 million in the first half of 2012, with the unemployment rate reaching 9%," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
Sport
Hamilton runs down the back straight in the rain
F1
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
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: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing