Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has attacked the Government as new figures have shown that the unemployment rate has begun to rise revealing disparities in unemployment rates for different groups across the country, as well as overall stagnant wage growth.

Figures released by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) revealed that the number of unemployed people in the UK rose by 46,000 to 1.47 million for the final quarter of the year, compared to the previous three months. There were also 823,000 job vacancies for this period, 24,000 more than for August to October and 70,000 more than for a year earlier. The report states that this is the highest figure since comparable records began in 2001.

Most of the 46,000 people who who became unemployed in the last few months were women. The ONS reports that the number of unemployed women jumped by 35,000 in October-December, to 689,000 with the rate of unemployment for women now at its highest level since summer 2016.

Separate data from the ONS also showed that British households had lost spending power last year due a jump in inflation, predominately caused by the post-Brexit fall in the pound. This is on the back of a larger piece of work from the ONS which has shown that British consumers have suffered the longest decline in their spending power since the 1970s.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“These figures are disappointing and further show the pressure that households are under.  One of the more concerning aspects of the ONS figures are the absolute loss in spending power that British households continue to endure as the rudderless approach of this Government begins to have a big effect of people’s incomes.”

“Added to this 21,000 more young women are now unemployed – a dramatic increase on the last quarter.”


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