Jobs: Private sector jobs increase

ALTHOUGH figures show unemployment rising by 27,000 across the country to 2.5 million there has been a growth in the number of full-time jobs in the private sector.

Local figures show the number of people out of work and claiming benefits to be: Aylesbury Vale 2,199; Milton Keynes 6,363; Dacorum 2,418; Bedford 3,771; Central Bedfordshire 4,198 and Luton 5,715.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show the number of people in employment across the country has risen by 32,000 and there has been a fall in the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “There is good news and bad news in these figures. There’s been a welcome drop in the number of people on benefits, and the increase in full-time private sector jobs is a step in the right direction.

“But the rise in overall unemployment is a real concern and underlines the need to press ahead with policies which will further stimulate growth in the private sector. For those on benefits that are now looking to make the transition into the workplace our new Work Programme will provide tailored support to get them into jobs.”

The government’s new Work Programme will be in place by the summer and will offer personalised, tailored support to get people back into jobs.

The number of young people aged (16 to 24) who are classed as ILO (International Labour Organisation) unemployed rose by 30,000 over the quarter to 974,000. However, of the 30,000 increase, 13,000 are students in full time education and looking for some part time work to fit around their studies.

Of the 974,000 ILO unemployed, there are 285,000 students – over a quarter of the total - in full time education looking for some part time work to fit out around their studies.

To enable young people to get work experience government has changed the rules so young people can do up to two months work experience and keep their benefits. Under previous rules it was for only two weeks. Jobcentre Plus offices around the country are working with local businesses to refer young people onto work experience opportunities.

From April Prince’s Trust advisers and other community groups will be stationed in some Jobcentres to refer young people to volunteering and training opportunities.

> The total number of people in work in the period November to January 2011 was recorded as 29.157 million. The employment level in November-January was 32 thousand higher than the previous quarter and up 296,000 on the year. The employment rate is 70.5 per cent, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter, but up 0.1 points on the year.