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What Needs to be Done with High Unemployment Rates?

26th March 2012
By Denver in Commercial Law
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In the current dire economic situation, it was always inevitable that unemployment would rise but the extent to which it has done so is quite worrying, with the figures now reaching a 17-year high. The Office for National Statistics has reported that the unemployment rate has increased to 8.1%, with approximately 2.57 million people out of work in the UK.

This steep rise has a series of knock-on effects which place a greater burden on the nation, not least the number of benefit claimants. In addition, every job lost has a direct human cost, causing great stress and unhappiness in many affected families.

The Politics

These shocking figures emerge in stark contrast to the government's proposals to reduce unemployment for the three years following the election of 2010. This apparent failing has not gone unnoticed by the Opposition, who have criticised the government's inability to fulfil their promises on this matter.

Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted his plans to cut the deficit are still on track and that his government is doing as much as it can to help more people get back into work. However, these statements may be of small comfort to many who are directly affected by job losses, with some who think they have been unfairly dismissed having to turn to employment lawyers for help.

Points of View

Many senior officials and economists have given their opinions on the current situation. Brendan Barber, general secretary of the Trade Unions Congress, has condemned the rise in unemployment as a 'full-blown crisis' and believes criticism should not solely be directed at the eurozone but also on domestic issues. However, Ross Walker from RBS Financial Markets believes that the figures are being somewhat misinterpreted, giving a gloomier picture than the reality. He argues that the increase in unemployment is focused mainly around part-time jobs and that the full-time jobs market, which is a truer indicator of the country's financial wellbeing, has not suffered anywhere near as drastically.

Work Experience and Internships

One of the groups worst hit by the unemployment crisis are young people. Whether they leave school at 16, stay on to complete their A-Levels or even graduate from university, many young people emerge into a tight jobs market with few options open to them. There are, however, several options to help young people find work after they leave education.

Work-experience programmes allow people to spend time in an employment environment and learn vital skills that will improve their standing in the jobs market and help guide them towards an appropriate career. Internships are often longer and more focused than work-experience placements and give interns a direct insight into a particular company or a particular role. Both can be exceptionally valuable but it must be remembered that they are often unpaid and their true benefits are usually found in the long term.

Overall, however the official figures are interpreted, the picture is certainly one of a continuing rise in unemployment which affects both the nation as a whole and individuals and families who suffer directly because of job losses. No group is more at risk from this dire situation than young people, who emerge from schools and colleges to discover that breaking into the job market is practically impossible. That's not to say there isn't hope. With time, internships and training schemes may give them more opportunities and help to mitigate this growing crisis.

This post was composed by Denver Burke on behalf of Hibberts Nantwich Solicitors. He is looking to show his knowledge and enthusiasm by blogging on various topics throughout the web.
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