The real level of unemployment in Britain is almost three times as high as the official claimant count and has remained unchanged at 2.6 million in the second half of Tony Blair’s time in Downing Street, according to a report released today.
A study by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University found that in addition to the 900,000 people out of work and claiming benefit, Britain had another 1.7 million “hidden jobless”.
The report said the main reason for the discrepancy was that the official unemployment figures failed to count those diverted on to other benefits or out of the welfare system altogether. In particular, one million of the 2.7 million people on incapacity benefit should be regarded as being in hidden unemployment, the researchers said.
More young people are out of work now than when Labour won power in 1997 by promising to cut youth unemployment, official figures obtained by The Times reveal.
There are now 37,000 more unemployed people aged 16 to 24 than in May 1997, with the total rising from 665,000 to 702,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The unemployment rate has risen to 14.5 per cent among young people, overtaking the 14.4 per cent rate Labour inherited from the Conservative Government.
The figures are acutely embarrassing for the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, who in 1997 described the youth unemployment he inherited as a “human tragedy”, “sickening” and “an economic disaster”.
The number of people unemployed is at its highest level for six years, even though more people are in work, Government figures have shown.
In the three months to August, a total of 1.7 million people were out of work – a jump of 45,000 on the quarter and an increase of 276,000 on one year ago – according to the Office for National Statistics.
The annual increase is the highest since 2000, giving an unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, up 0.1 per cent on the previous three months.
Britain’s unemployment rate has hit a six-year high, according to official data released today.
The Office for National Statistics said the number of unemployed people rose by 92,000 between April and June to push the jobless rate up to 5.5%, the highest since the summer of 2000.
Analysts had expected a smaller rise in the rate to 5.4% from 5.2% in the prior quarter.
The figures were published as it emerged that one Bank of England policymaker opposed this month’s interest rate rise because of labour market concerns.
The number of graduates who failed to find work after leaving university rose last year, according to figures released today.
Graduates with degrees in computer science had the highest unemployment rate, with nearly 11% thought to be not working or studying.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa) figures also showed men leaving university were more likely to land well paid jobs than women.
About 250,000 students will receive their A-level results on Thursday, and many of them are planning to go on to start university courses in the autumn.
For the first time this year, students will be charged top-up tuition fees of £3,000 a year for their courses, more than double the current fees.