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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Headline unemployment down but long-term unemployment still rising

North East & North West continue to suffer rising unemployment

Today's unemployment figures show that unemployment has fallen by 51,000. But analysis by the think tank IPPR shows that there are now 1.4 million people working part-time who say that they want a full-time job - more than at any time since records began in 1992.

The number of people out of work for more than a year is also up 30,000 to 886,000, the highest since 1996.

Tony Dolphin, IPPR Chief Economist, said:

"The headline fall in unemployment today is good news. It seems that private sector employment is expanding despite economic growth contracting over the same period. Youth unemployment has fallen slightly, showing that while there is still a long way to go, the Youth Contract job guarantee scheme is having an impact.

"But the bad news is that the number of people unemployed long-term is continuing to rise, with more people out of work for more than a year than at any time since the mid-1990s. There are also now more people working part-time who say they want a full-time job than ever before.

"The Government should expand the Youth Contract and offer a job guarantee to everyone who has been out of work for more than a year. Our economy still needs government help to strengthen demand so that employers can take on more young workers and can offer full- time work to those stuck in part-time employment."

Figures for the latest quarter show that unemployment fell in every UK region other than the North East, North West and Northern Ireland. But IPPR North analysis shows the number of unemployed people compared to a year ago is:

  • up 23 per cent in the North East (27,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 17 per cent in the North West (48,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 14 per cent in Wales (17,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 13 per cent in South East (33,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 9 per cent in East of England (18,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 8 per cent in London (29,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 7 per cent in Scotland (14,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 6 per cent in East Midlands (11,000 more people unemployed)
  • up 5 per cent in Yorkshire and Humber (11,000 more people unemployed)
  • Down 6 per cent in the South West (10,000 fewer people unemployed)
  • Down 5 per cent in West Midlands (12,000 fewer people unemployed)

Notes to Editors

Unemployment figures published today are available from:

IPPR North's interim report of the Northern Economic Futures Commission is available from:

IPPR's report - Jobs for the Future: The path back to full employment in the UK - is available from

IPPR's report - 10 ways to promote growth - is available from


Richard Darlington, 07525 481 602,