UK Unemployment Falls to 2.56m - The Olympic Effect?

16th August 2012

Looking at the latest report by the BBC on unemployment levels in UK, you would be forgiven to think that this was the first sign of growth for our region.

The number of people out of work fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to June, according to the Office for National Statistics. The unemployment rate fell to 8.0% in the period, down from 8.2% in the previous quarter. The Office for National Statistics also said number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance fell by 5,900 to 1.59 million in July. The number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job hit a record high.It was up 16,000 in the three months to June to 1.42 million, which was the highest figure since records began in 1992. (BBC News Website 15/8/2012) Unfortunately over the year the region with the largest rise in the unemployment rate was the Yorkshire and The Humber region with an increase of 1.2 percentage points The highest drop in unemployment was for the London area and we undoubtedly know the reason for this is because of the Olympics. Will this make for a huge drop in employment in the next quarter for London? Also are the figures being duped by Part time employment? On face value the unemployment figures for Yorkshire were disappointing and trailed the national picture however we do need to look behind them. As a Chamber we are very focused on building sustainable businesses which deliver full time sustainable jobs. I am worried that the national figures include too many part time jobs and too many youth unemployed. I don't want part time jobs that disappear after a short term activity like the Olympics, they are welcome but are not the ones that will deliver our economic recovery. As a Chamber we are trying to take a longer term view and work with partners across the city to build the right foundations for the future Richard Wright Executive Director Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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