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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Welcome fall in unemployment reflects increase in part-time working

North East & North West continue to suffer rising unemployment

Analysis of today's unemployment figures, by the think tank IPPR, shows that while unemployment has fallen by 45,000 there are now 1.4 million people working part-time who say that they want a full-time job - more than any time since records began in 1992.

Tony Dolphin, IPPR Chief Economist, said:

"The fall in unemployment in the first three months of this year, compared to the last three months of 2011, is very welcome news. It suggests the current recession in the UK - if it is not revised away when the next set of GDP data are released - is likely to be a very mild one.

"The drop in youth unemployment (by 18,000 in the latest three months) and the second consecutive fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (after 16 consecutive monthly rises) confirm the picture of a labour market that is improving, albeit at a very modest pace.

"However, there is still evidence of weakness in the labour market. The 105,000 increase in employment in the latest quarter was more than accounted for by part-time workers. The number in full-time employment fell by 13,000. There are now 1,418,000 people working part-time who say that they want a full-time job.

"And long-term unemployment increased again - to 887,000 - and is now at its highest level since 1996. More than a quarter of a million (265,000) young people (aged under 25) have been without a job for more than 12 months. The government should introduce a job guarantee scheme targeted at this group. This would offer them a job lasting for six months that they would be obliged to take up or risk losing their Jobseeker's Allowance."

Unemployment by region:

  • North East: 148,000 (+ 6,000) 11.5%
  • London: 426,000 (-1,000) 10.1%
  • North West: 329,000 (+ 11,000) 9.6%
  • Yorkshire / Humber: 241,000 (- 24,000) 9%
  • Wales: 132,000 (- 1,000) 9%
  • West Midlands: 228,000 (- 19,000) 8.5%
  • Scotland: 221,000 (- 10,000) 8.2%
  • East Midlands: 182,000 (- 6,000) 7.8%
  • East: 207,000 (- 6,000) 6.7%
  • N Ireland: 57,000 (- 5,000) 6.7%
  • South West: 175,000 (+ 10,000) 6.5%
  • South East: 279,000 (+ 1,000) 6.2%

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,