Unemployment reaches eleven-year high

The number of people out of work in the UK has reached an 11 year high. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released today show a jump of 140,000 in the three months to September to 1.82 million.
This follows the announcement of 5,000 job losses yesterday, with Vodafone, Yell, GlaxoSmithKline and Virgin Media all laying off workers.
The ONS report shows the unemployment rate rose to 5.8%, up from 5.4% in the previous quarter.
Pay has also stalled, with the earnings annual growth rate including bonuses down 0.1% on the previous period to 3.3%. The rate excluding bonuses is steady at 3.6%.
Employees are putting in more hours at work, with a total of 940.9 million hours worked in the three months up to September 2008, up 0.9 million from the previous quarter.
The average weekly hours worked now stands at 32, up 0.1 from the three months to June 2008.
The CBI’s deputy Director-General, John Cridland, said: “With the downturn now hitting every sector of the economy, job losses are an unwelcome but inevitable consequence of these difficult times.
“Earlier this week CBI figures showed small and medium-sized manufacturers cutting jobs for the first time during this crisis, and in the last few days we have seen major employers announcing job losses.
“It is clear that the human cost of this downturn will unfortunately be higher than initially expected, with unemployment continuing to rise through the coming months.”