There was another record increase in the unemployment rate to reach 2.38 million in the second quarter of 2009, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS statement said: ‘The unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent for the three months to May 2009, up 0.9 over the previous quarter and up 2.4 over the year.
‘This is the largest quarterly increase in the unemployment rate since 1981.
‘The number of unemployed people increased by 281,000 over the quarter and by 753,000 over the year, to reach 2.38 million.
‘This is the largest quarterly increase in the number of unemployed people since comparable records began in 1971.
‘The claimant count, which measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, reached 1.56 million in June 2009.
‘It has not been higher since June 1997.
‘The count is up 23,800 over the previous month and up 716,800 over the year.’
It added: ‘The redundancies level for the three months to May 2009 was 301,000, up 31,000 over the quarter and up 182,000 over the year.
‘There were 429,000 job vacancies in the three months to June 2009.
‘This is the lowest figure since comparable records began in 2001 and it is down 35,000 over the previous quarter and down 222,000 over the year. . . .
‘The inactivity rate for people of working age was 20.9 per cent for the three months to May 2009, up 0.1 over the previous quarter but unchanged over the year.
‘The number of economically inactive people of working age rose by 64,000 over the quarter and by 46,000 over the year to reach 7.92 million.’
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘Today’s figures are truly horrendous.
‘It’s particularly worrying that over half a million unemployed people have been out of work for at least a year, including 133,000 young unemployed people.
‘With a new generation of school and college leavers soon starting to look for work, our unemployment crisis will get even bigger.
‘Yet rather than treat unemployment as a national emergency, growing numbers of politicians are calling for deep public expenditure cuts.
‘This will make the recession far worse. 200,000 nurses, teachers and other public servants will join the dole queue, private companies will lose business, public services will deteriorate and the deficit will get worse.’
According to the latest ONS figures, 528,000 unemployed people have been out of work for at least 12 months, an increase of 123,000 since March-May 2008.
133,000 young unemployed people have been out of work for at least 12 months, an increase of 27,000 since March-May 2008.
Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary said: ‘Across the country people are paying a very high price for this bankers recession as the unemployment numbers head back to the three million seen in the Tory years.’
• Jaguar announced yesterday that 300 jobs were to go from its Halewood plant.