Unemployment hits highest level since last Christmas

UK
unemployment rose by 27,000 to 1.44 million between April and June, official
figures reveal.

The
rise in the jobless total, the biggest for more than a year, takes the number
of people out of work to its highest level since last Christmas.

The
unemployment rate for the three months to June increased by 0.1 per cent to 4.8
per cent, the Office for National Statistics reports.

Nevertheless,
the UK continues to have one of the lowest jobless rates in the industrialised
world. The 4.8 per cent figure compares favourably with the US (5.6 per cent),
Spain (11.1 per cent), Germany (9.8 per cent) and France (9.5 per cent).

Meanwhile,
separate government figures, also released today, show that fewer than
two-thirds of last year’s graduates have entered the world of full-time
employment.

More
than 7 per cent of those that graduated last year – 12,900 out of a total of
182,300 – are not in work or study, and are assumed to be unemployed, the
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures reveal.

Though
almost 63 per cent have left their student days behind and found full-time
jobs, 8 per cent are combining further study and part-time work, while the
remaining 16 per cent are continuing their studies.

However,
the HESA stressed that while graduates might not rush into jobs, they were
ultimately more likely to be in work than their non-graduate counterparts.

By Daniel Thomas

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