According to Government figures released today there has been a fall in both the number of people in employment and the employment rate. The number of unemployed people, the unemployment rate and the claimant count have all increased.
Growth in average earnings including bonuses has fallen but earnings growth excluding bonuses is unchanged. Nick Pearson from Paymex noted that “becoming unemployed is one of the most significant triggers for people falling into arrears with their credit and mortgage commitments. Far too many people who become unemployed put off seeking professional debt advice until their financial situation has developed into a crisis. The sooner people get advice about their debts, the easier their debt problems are to resolve.”
The unemployment rate was 6.1 per cent for the three months to November 2008. The last time the rate was higher was in the three months to April 1999 (when it was 6.2 per cent). The number of unemployed people increased by 131,000 over the quarter and by 290,000 over the year, to reach 1.92 million (the highest figure since the three months to September 1997).
There were 530,000 job vacancies in the three months to December 2008, down 69,000 over the previous quarter and down 153,000 over the year. This is the lowest figure since comparable records began in 2001.