UK Unemployment Rises

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that between December and February the unemployment in the UK has risen up to 2.56 million. Many people have been made redundant, hopefully their employers had a redundancy policy.

Those who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance last month were 1.53 million which means 7,000 less than before. There is no reliable data on how many employment contracts have been signed up for the same period.

Another thing ONS stated was that average earnings in the year to February mark the lowest growth rate since 2009.

In the latest quarter of February the number of people in work fell to just under 30 million.

Statistics also showed that 900,000 people have been out of work for more than a year and that the number of 16-24-year-olds with no job rose by 20,000 to 979,000

The data point a 62,000 fall in the number of people in part-time jobs and an increase by 60,000 in full-time employment.

Alan Clarke, economist at Scotia bank, said: “It’s not a disaster, but a lot of the froth and really good news we had over the last year on jobs is becoming exhausted, which shouldn’t be a surprise when there is not much growth around.”

Employment minister Mark Hoban said they would not stop helping jobseekers.

The number of JA claimers in whole England, Wales and Scotland has fallen having in mind that the number of new claims was at its lowest level for more than four years.

The number of young people claiming JA is down by 2,800 on the month, and is 65,400 lower than last year.

As usually there are many people criticizing the decision of the UK government. These claim that the government has to think over reining back its austerity plan.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “The chancellor should heed IMF advice to change course to grow the economy to end this needless waste of human talent.”

 

Benefits Reform Trial Scaled Back

A new reform to the welfare system is about to be scaled back by the government.

The plans of ministers are to give people the possibility to claim the new Universal Credit in four areas of north-west England from April.

However, it was announced that three of the pilots will not be able to start until July.

According to Labour the Universal Credit was “on the edge of disaster” mainly because IT systems were still not ready to stand the pressure.

This Universal Credit is created in such a way that it is simple and cheap. It will merge several earnings-related benefits and tax credits into one single payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions had first decided to test it in four areas but now they said the beginning of the programme will be set only in one area- Ashton-under-Lyne.

Not before July the other three job centres will start working with Universal Credit.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “The scheme is already late and over-budget and in spite of earlier promises ministers have admitted that they have no idea when out of work claimants will move over to Universal Credit.”

Salary data calculations are needed for the Universal Credit so Mr. Byrne said that small firms have to provide this data as they have now been delayed from April until October.

On Friday Anne Begg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South and a member of the work and pensions select committee, said that she was both pro and con the delaying as she felt the government first had to check everything was all right.

“The welfare system is like a giant jelly in that if you press down and try and make a change in one area, something else that you may not be expecting pops up”.

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