UK jobs data were released today showing that the labour market is still weak. The UK Office for National Statistics reported that the number of British people claiming unemployment benefits in January rose much faster than forecast, pushing the total to its highest in two years.
Applications for jobseekers allowance increased by 6,900 in January, up from December’s 1,900, which was upwardly revised 1,900 rise. Expectations were for a rise of only 500 claimants.
That rise in jobless people on unemployment benefits has pushed the total to 1.61 million, the highest since January 2010.
The ONS’ other, internationally also rose in the final quarter of 2011 from the previous quarter, albeit by the smallest rate since June.
Unemployment on the International Labor Organisation measure ( an internationally comparable measure of unemployment) also rose 48,000 in the three months to December, to a total 2.67 million.
The official UK unemployment rate remains unchanged at 8.4 percent as expected. The last time it was higher was in the three months to November 1995.