U.K. Unemployment Rises to Highest Since 1995


U.K. unemployment jumped to the highest level since 1995 as the recession destroyed work in industries from banking to construction.

The number of people seeking jobs in the three months through July rose by 210,000 to 2.47 million, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. A separate measure showing claims for unemployment benefit climbed by 24,400 in August to 1.61 million.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said yesterday that households will feel pain from the recession even after the economy has stopped shrinking because unemployment is either going to keep rising or remain high.” Policy makers are printing as much as 175 billion pounds ($288 billion) in money to aid economic growth and avoid the threat of deflation.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who faces an election next year, said yesterday that the recovery is still fragile” and that stimulus programs to boost the economy should be maintained.

The unemployment rate in the three months through July rose to 7.9 percent, the most since 1996, the statistics office said. That compares with the latest figures of 9.5 percent in the euro region, 9.7 percent in the U.S. and 5.7 percent in Japan.

The jobless rate based on benefit claimants rose to 5 percent, the most since 1997, the statistics office said.

KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Federation said last week that the labor market is showing signs of improvement. Their measure of hiring for permanent jobs rose to 50.6 last month from 46.1 in July. That’s the first result above 50, signaling expansion, since March 2008.

Average earnings excluding bonuses grew an annual 2.2 percent in the quarter through July, the least since records began in 2001. the statistics office said. Including bonuses, they increased by 1.7 percent.


TradingEconomics.com, Bloomberg
9/16/2009 9:55:25 AM