Socialist Worker

Facts about unemployment

Issue No. 2155

Over 50 graphic

Over 50 graphic



Where are jobs being lost?

Every month there are fewer jobs. Between February and April job vacancies fell by 51,000 – or

more than 10 percent – on the previous three months.

But the biggest falls in vacancies took place in the financial and business services, which were down 15.5 percent. Education, health and public administration, which were 6.1 percent down.


What about older people?

Unemployment is up for those aged 50 and older.

Those aged between 50 and retirement saw a rise in unemployment of 37,000 and those above retirement age a rise of 2,000 in the first three months of the year.

But both groups’ employment rate has increased at the same time.

For those between 50 and retirement, 11,000 more people were classed as employed in the first three months of this year.

Over 4,000 more pensioners entered employment – reaching a record high of over 1.3 million.


How long are people out of work for?

The duration of unemployment is changing. The entry of so many newly unemployed people to the ranks of the jobless has led to a drop in the proportion classed as long-term unemployed.

But this doesn’t mean the situation for the long-term unemployed has improved – long term unemployment is on the rise.


What about workers?

Unemployment is a major threat facing the working class. But those who manage to keep their jobs face different attacks.

More people are working part-time who would prefer to work full-time. This trend has accelerated with the onset of recession.

All the main surveys on pay find a significant minority of freezes or cuts, but freezes are not the norm.

Research by the TUC found a 5 percent rise for workers at Barclays Bank and 6.25 percent for bus drivers at Stagecoach in Peterborough as examples of above-inflation settlements that have been won despite the recession.


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