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British report British report
by Euro Reporter
2011-11-18 07:23:54
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Rising jobless rate blamed on euro debt crisis

Britain’s youth unemployment has broken through the 1 million mark to reach a record level as the country's wider unemployment rate has climbed to a 15-year high. The government in London sought to blame the deterioration in the jobs market on pressures from the euro zone debt crisis but came under attack for ignoring the problems at home. Fears that young people are bearing the brunt of Britain's economic slowdown were underscored by official figures showing there were 1.02 million unemployed 16- to 24-year-olds between July and September. One in five young people are now out of work.

''Today's ugly labour market data will raise concerns that the UK economic recovery is fading away, and that a long-term impact will be felt among the nation's youth,'' the chief economist at Markit, Chris Williamson, said. In response, the government will pay small companies to employ apprentices. The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced a £1500 ($2338) incentive for firms with fewer than 50 staff to hire an apprentice. The wider national picture was also one of a deteriorating jobs market.

The Office for National Statistics said there were 2.62 million unemployed people in the quarter, the highest number since 1994. That left the unemployment rate at a bigger-than-expected 8.3 per cent, the highest since 1996. The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month increased by 5300 to 1.6 million, according to the Office for National Statistics. The Employment Minister, Chris Grayling, said the euro zone's troubles were behind the rise. ''These figures are bad news. They are, I'm afraid, the consequence of what we're seeing in the euro zone,'' he said. ''If you go back four months, unemployment was falling, youth unemployment was lower than 900,000. We've seen a big slowdown in the economy, I think as a result of the crisis elsewhere.''


Bank of England warns Britain is teetering toward second credit crunch

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King warned on Wednesday that Britain is on the brink of a second credit crunch after it reduced growth forecasts and raised the prospect of a serious double-dip recession. King explained that the euro zone crisis caused households, companies and banks to face a period of extraordinary uncertainty, including a return to recession. He forecast weakness over the next few quarters, but said no one can predict with accuracy the outcome of the looming crisis.

King pointed out that the funding of British banks in the third quarter dipped to low levels not seen since 2008 when the U.S. investment bank, Lehman Brothers, crashed. He said with insufficient funds, banks could not loan to companies and individuals. The bank reduced to just 1 percent its growth forecast for 2011 and 2012. King said that growth would likely remain broadly flat until the middle of next summer. King warned that the journey to a more balanced world economy would be long and arduous.

He made the warning on the same day that the Office for National Statistics reported that Britain’s unemployment rate went up by 129,000 in the third quarter to 2.62 million, which is the highest level since 1994. It is equivalent to an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent. With this development, Chancellor George Osborne would likely admit his month that the coalition government would fail to meet budget deficit reduction target before the next election.


Britain is creating a 'permanent underclass' excluded from the prospect of employment

Britain is creating a permanent underclass excluded from the prospect of employment, according to a report published this morning by the Adecco Group. Almost three quarters of UK employers believe there is a permanent underclass emerging, whose education and background leaves them largely unemployable. According to research released today as part of the Adecco Group's 'Unlocking Britain's Potential' initiative, business leaders now recognise that certain sections of society are increasingly disengaged from the world of employment; a trend that needs addressing urgently if organisations want to access a wide and diverse pool of talent.

The research reveals 73% of employers believe that a 'permanent underclass' is emerging within UK society, which threatens to exacerbate ongoing problems of skills shortages. This feeling is echoed amongst UK workers, with 84% of UK employees fearing the development of a 'permanent underclass'. Adecco Group is challenging businesses, Government and educators to come together on 21 February to join a major debate and agree a plan of action to engage with all sectors of society, creating job opportunities and addressing our endemic skills shortage.

Whilst they acknowledge this growing issue, the majority of employers are still taking little, if any, positive action to engage with disenfranchised sections of society. The research reveals that over half (57%) of employers do not have an apprenticeship programme in place to help young people into the world of employment. This is in spite of the fact that 51% of employers believe apprenticeships provide a cost effective resource; 50% believe they help to fill a skills gap; and 46% believe they help to better align employees to the organisation's culture.

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