Unemployment figures finally fall


unemployedUnemployment can have a damaging effect on families, hitting our incomes where it hurts, while lowering morale and prosperity.

A glimmer of good news comes with the new figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show that unemployment fell slightly in the quarter to February 2012, with 35,000 fewer people out of work.

The reduction caused the country's overall jobless figure to fall to 2.65 million people, and a jobless rate of 8.3% was recorded.

However, despite these slightly more positive findings, the research revealed that March saw the 17th consecutive monthly rise in jobseeker's allowance claimants.

A total of 1.61 million people now claim this unemployment benefit.

And the number of unemployed women increased by 8,000 in the latest quarter to 1.14 million, the highest total for almost 25 years.

In addition, the figures also showed an 89,000 rise in the number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time jobs, to a total of 1.4 million, the highest figure since records began in 1992.

Although the latest unemployment figures may offer some hope for the UK's struggling economy, Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, has warned of the impact long-term joblessness continues to have on families.

He stated: "The Government is failing to tackle the growing problem of long-term unemployment which is bringing misery to so many families.

"In addition, the record number of people forced into part-time working is masking the sheer scale of unemployment, and women are again bearing the brunt of job cuts."

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