The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has predicted that unemployment levels will reach 3.2 million by the second half of 2010. Unemployment has already reached its highest level since June 1997, increasing by 369 thousand over the previous 12 months.
Information from the Office for National statistics has shown a continuing increase in the number of unemployed. During the three months up to November 2009, the unemployment level climbed to 1.92 million - an increase of 131,000 people. The down turn in the economy has led to 225,000 people being made redundant over the same period. Those in the unfortunate position of being unemployed, will be competing for a decreasing number of vacancies. The total number of vacancies, in the three months up to December 2009, was 530,000. This figure is 69,000 less than the 599,000 vacancies available over the previous three months.
In response to these figures, the Governments Employment Minister, Tony McNulty, said that “The Government is doing all it can to ensure economic stability for businesses, home owners and job seekers. The measures that we have introduced over the recent months are designed to support the recovery of the economy and ensure that people have the best support to get back into employment”. These measure include adding an extra 6,000 front line staff and a funding increase for the Job Centre Plus Rapid Response Service, which gives extra help to workers facing redundancy.
Although the figures released by the Office for National Statistics show a downturn in the employment market, according to Tony McNulty, “These figures show that whilst more people are claiming Job Seekers Allowance, 231,000 have come off in the last month as people take advantage of the extra help on offer”.
The Government has guaranteed that extra help will be made available for people that find themselves unemployed for more than six months. New training places will be created, along with financial incentives for businesses to hire the long term unemployed. For those people wanting to set up their own business, the Government will provide advice on creating a businesses plan and financial assistance when they start trading.
Further information on finding employment can be found at your local Job Centre Plus or via www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk
A useful guide to finding employment can be found here: Download the Job Centre Employment Guide