Jobless total soars as downturn bites

UNEMPLOYMENT across Suffolk and north Essex jumped sharply last month as the deepening economic slump saw the jobless count across the UK reach its highest level for nearly decade.

UNEMPLOYMENT across Suffolk and north Essex jumped sharply last month as the deepening economic slump saw the jobless count across the UK reach its highest level for nearly decade.

The number of people claiming the Jobseeker's allowance grew nationally for the seventh month in a row in August to 904,900, with the increase of 32,500 compared with July representing the biggest month-on-month rise since December 1992.

And total unemployment, including those not eligible for benefit, increased to 1.72million for the three months to July, up 81,000 on the previous quarter and the highest figure recorded since the spring in 1999.

Around 138,000 people were made redundant in the three months to July, up by 28,000 from the previous quarter - the highest figure for over a year.


You may also want to watch:


There was also the first fall for more than a year in the number of people in work, down by 16,000 to 29.54 million in the three months to July, Office for National Statistics data revealed, and vacancies fell to their lowest level for more than a year, down 56,900 to 613,200 in the quarter to August.

Locally, the biggest increase the claimant count came in Ipswich where the total jumped by 235 compared with July to 2,583, pushing the unemployment rate up by 0.4% of a percentage point to 3.5%.

Most Read

Six other local authority areas witnessed increases of 0.2%, including Babergh, where the count grew by 107 to 715 (a rate of 1.4%), Braintree, up 137 to 1,467 (1.7%), Colchester, up 180 to 1,953 (1.8%), Forest Heath, up 78 to 482 (1.2%), Maldon, up 54 to 515 (1.4%) and Tendring, up 107 to 2,046 (2.7%).

Elswhere locally the rate increased by 0.1%, including Chelmsford, up 93 to 1,407 (1.4%), Mid Suffolk, up 46 to 651 (1.2%), St Edmundsbury, up 105 to 1,077 (1.7%), Suffolk Coastal, up 96 to 840 (1.2%), Uttlesford, up 22 to 375 (0.9%) and Waveney, up 85 to 1,970 (3.0%).

Nigel Meager, director of the Institute for Employment Studies, said: “There is no doubt that a real economic downturn is now under way, and the case for lower interest rates to boost growth has strengthened.”

But he added: “It is important to stress, however, that there is no evidence yet of an imminent jobs meltdown on a scale comparable to the 1980-83 and 1990-93 recessions, when employment fell by an average 50,000 per month, every month, over a three-year period.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus