UK Unemployment Lowest in 4 Years

UK Unemployment Lowest in 4 YearsFigures released by the Office of National Statistics have shown that the unemployment rate in the UK is at its lowest since 2009. There have previously been numerous concerns, that despite the gradual economic recovery, unemployment has remained high overall. The average unemployment rate across the whole country now stands at 7.4% for the three months to October and has not been this low since February-April in 2009.

David Cameron has gone on record to say that this means “the plan is working”, and the improvement is finally visible in the statistics. He added that this achievement didn’t mean that they could become complacent and that continued work was needed to reach even better levels. Ed Milliband was pleased with the news, but raised concerns that these figures did not differentiate between full and part time work, where full time was the employee’s aim.

This success is in part due to government initiatives to create more jobs and get more people back into work. It is also aided however by the number of work based training schemes and practical qualifications that are on offer in the UK. Apprenticeships and job specific courses such as those provided by City & Guilds have proven popular with employers who are looking for candidates who can hit the ground running, and stand out from those with more generic qualifications.

Qualifications have played a key role throughout the process of lowering the unemployment rate, and previously, with such high demand for the jobs available, the better qualified or more relevantly so a candidate was, the better their chance of getting a job regardless of the skill level required. This has been a particular problem with youth employment, but in these cases importance is placed largely on any relevant work experience, another area where apprenticeships come into their own.

The problem of youth unemployment is far from solved, and the number of young people out of work or education is still higher than the overall average. This figure too however is at its lowest in a year, and looks set to continue falling as the government works with employers to deliver the right kind of education, and therefore the right candidates to them when young people leave school, college or university.

The rise in the employment rate is a good indicator that the economic problems in the UK are improving and that the measures in place are working. Whilst there are still many things that need addressing including salaries and cost of living increases, the education and recruitment system at least appear to be working to aid improvement at present.

Editorial Team
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