By Marcus Leach
It was announced on Wednesday that unemployment in the UK had risen by 80,000 in the three months to July, topping 2.51 million.
And, despite this being below the high of 2.53 million seen earlier this year, industry experts are predicting further gloom.
“The storm clouds are gathering with falling employment and rising unemployment at a time when it is difficult to see how this might reverse," Graeme Leach, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors said.
"The ongoing uncertainty surrounding the euro-zone crisis means that companies are likely to remain cautious about hiring and more certain about firing.
"On top of this, the continued sharp squeeze in consumer incomes, with real pay falling by almost 2 per cent, means that high street prospects remain gloomy. Today’s figures reinforce our belief that we need to launch QE2 as soon as possible."
Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), believes the latest figures are set to get worse as the job market continues to weaken.
“It’s clear from the large quarterly fall in employment and very sharp rise in headline unemployment that the UK jobs market is weakening significantly and that we can expect unemployment to continue to rise well into next year," he said.
"What’s most worrying is that the private sector jobs recovery has slowed markedly while the public sector jobs cull is accelerating rapidly. Indeed, the loss of public sector jobs in the second quarter of 2011 dwarfs what might have been expected from the current Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast and is more in line with CIPD forecasts.
"This suggests that the OBR may have to substantially revise its forecast for the employment and unemployment outlook to 2015 — which will be bad news for the Government as we enter a very uncertain period for the UK economy.”
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