• In the three months to October 2011, unemployment rose by 128,000 people and employment fell by 63,000
  • The number of unemployed people has not been higher since 1994
  • BCC predicts unemployment will increase to 2.77m by the end of 2012

Commenting on the unemployment figures for November, published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“These figures follow the disappointing pattern seen in recent months, with unemployment rising further and employment falling. The number of young unemployed, those aged between 16 and 24, increased by 54,000 to over one million, but more than a quarter of these were people in full-time education looking for part-time work.

“The worsening of the UK labour market is not as bad as many feared, given the worrying economic news at home and developments in the eurozone. The figures show that the public sector accounts for more than the entire decline in employment, while the private sector has created 5,000 new jobs.

“But with job losses in the public sector likely to continue, every effort must be made to help the private sector create more jobs. Cutting red tape and making it easier for people to acquire the right skills for the work place are vital, but this is not enough. The MPC must persevere with an aggressive QE programme and the government must act quickly to implement the credit easing measures announced in the Autumn Statement.

“Our recent forecast predicts that total UK unemployment is likely to increase to 2.77m or 8.7 percent of the workforce by the end of 2012.”


Notes to editors:

ONS figures: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/december-2011/index.html

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk