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Annie Hayes

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Jobless count climbs

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The effects of the credit crunch are being felt in the jobs market as official figures show the claimant count has risen.

Data released from the Office of National Statistics shows that unemployment rose for the fourth consecutive month in April, reaching 819,300.

The release also shows that the ILO (International Labour Office) measure of unemployment increased to 5.3% in the three months to April, an increase slightly greater than expected. Under this measure, the number of people unemployed has increased by 38,000 over the last quarter.

The annual increase in average earnings, including bonuses, also fell to 3.8% in April from 4.0%. Average earnings growth excluding bonuses was 3.9% up by 0.1 percentage point from last month and in line with expectations.

Despite the news, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) report that employers are still hiring and say there is no sign yet of a rise in redundancies, which indicates that the labour market overall is cooling only moderately. John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said:

“The jobs market overall remains relatively buoyant but signs of the impact of the credit crunch are beginning to emerge. Employers are still hiring and there is still no sign of a widespread increase in the firing rate. However, the rate of growth in employment is much slower than in recent quarters and some sectors are showing obvious signs of strain. Combined with continued strong growth in the number of people entering the labour market the economy is now generating too few jobs to prevent the dole queue from starting to lengthen.”


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Annie Hayes

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