UNEMPLOYMENT reached a 17-year high after another 128,000 joined the jobless ranks – taking the total to 2.64m.
A series of grim figures delivered a pre-Christmas blow to the Government, with youth and female unemployment showing big rises and the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance increasing for the ninth month in a row.
Travel giant Thomas Cook added to the gloom by announcing more than 600 job losses and 115 shop closures.
Among local parliamentary constituencies, the claimant count for Huddersfield stood at 2,631 last month, up by 220 on November last year. Colne Valley was up by 173 at 1,792 while Dewsbury was 134 higher than a year ago at 1,751.
Quarterly unemployment in Yorkshire rose by about 9,000 to 253,000 or 9.5% of the workforce.
UK employment fell by 63,000 in the quarter to October to 29.11m, while the number of people working in the public sector dipped below 6m for the first time since 2003.
The jobless rate is now 8.3%, up by 0.4% on the quarter – the highest since 1996 – while the jobless total is now worse than at any time since 1994.
Unemployment among 16 to 24-year-olds rose by 54,000 to 1.03m, the highest since records began in 1992.
The Office for National Statistics said that female unemployment increased by 45,000 to 1.1m, the highest figure since 1988.
The number of people out of work for longer than a year rose by 19,000 in the latest quarter to 868,000, the worst figure since 1996.
Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “A double-dip Osborne recession, rising unemployment, rapidly falling living standards are the Tory/Lib Dem miserable Christmas gifts to the nation. The millions of workers without jobs face a miserable Christmas and a bleak New Year.”
Andrew Palmer, Yorkshire regional director of the CBI, said the continued rise in youth unemployment showed the importance of the Government’s new Youth Contract, saying: “Early results will only be seen in the New Year, but we must act now to prevent a generation being scarred in the long-term by unemployment.
“There’s more positive news that – even as growth slows – numbers of private sector jobs have still been growing. But with public job losses falling faster, it’s vital that the Government does everything possible to secure the private sector recovery.”