A growing number of people in the UK are currently experiencing long durations of unemployment while others are only able to find part time jobs. In March 2010 the office of national statistics reported a 0.1% decrease in unemployment levels in the UK (ONS). The report among other things noted that there were almost 700,000 jobseekers who had not been employment for more than a year (Winning and Ilona). Conversely, in the report indicated that there was a 9% increase in job vacancies over the same duration. The labour force survey conducted in the period between August and October 2010 found that the working age employment stood at 70.6% (Knowles). The survey further revealed that the unemployment rate in the UK was 7.9% with about 2.5 Million people being unemployed (ONS). This was an increase by 18000 people over the same quarter the previous year.
The number of people employed over the same duration was estimated to be 29.125 Million which means that an additional 219 000 people from the previous year's employment rate were able to secure jobs (Winning and Ilona). Therefore despite increase in job positions offered by employers there has been a slight increase in UK's unemployment rate. In the year 2010 the public sector job cuts were on the rise leading to increase in the number of unemployed people. Other industries such as the manufacturing and construction industries have also engaged in downsizing the number of employees. There has been a decrease in full time jobs with about 600 000 people working part time due to lack of permanent jobs. The private sector has been able to increase job positions however these have been taken up by people who lost jobs in the public sector. Consequently there has been a pay rise in most jobs however this has not been sufficient enough to counter inflation in the UK.
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It is important to note that the joblessness total is at its highest since 1994. One positive outcome is that there was a decrease by 32, 900 in the number of people seeking unemployment benefits. Under the same duration it was reported that the number of economically inactive people i.e those out of work and not seeking work has been on the rise. The situation may be compounded in the future because of tax rise and spending cuts. The coalition of conlib government forecast estimates that 600 000 public sector jobs could be lost over the next five years at a rate of 120 000 per year as a result of these measures (ONS).
However the government remains adamant that the private sector will create about 2.5 million private sector jobs which would offset the about 1.3 million jobs lost as a result of spending cuts and tax rise (Wlayat). The unemployment rate which stands at 8% is however remarkably low considering that the world is recovering form a major recession. In the past the UK unemployment rate has been higher after minor recessions such as 12% in the 1980's and 10% in 1999 (Wlayat). The austerity programme which targets the reduction of Britain's budget deficit will certainly result in loss of thousands of job s over the next few years (Wlayat). This will also result in the reduction in consumer spending power. It is also apparent that decrease of jobs has worse impact on women. Currently there are slightly over 1 million unemployed women in the UK (Winning and Ilona). In the near future the unemployment rate in the UK is likely to rise due to downsizing of firms in both the public and private sector. Consequently the reduction in consumer spending power will have a negative impact on the economy in the short run.
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