Unemployment down, but still worryingly high for 18-24 year olds
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Fewer people are claiming unemployment benefit across the country – though youth unemployment remains at a critical level. 57,000 less people are currently out of work compared with December last year. This leaves 2.51 million people without a job, roughly 8% of the country’s workforce. The unemployment rate has now fallen for eight consecutive months. The findings come from the Office for National Statistics, and are more positive than most analysts predicted. Whilst the statistics are encouraging for the nation as a whole, with many economists claiming it is a symptom of our improving economy, youth unemployment remains worryingly high. 763,000 18-24 year olds are jobless – almost 1 in 5. It has fallen by almost 3% over the last quarter, a slightly better drop than the country as a whole, but the number remains practically as high as it was when the credit crunch hit. The positive result is also undermined by the fact that the number of people that have been unemployed for more than a year is at a 17 year high, at 915,000 people. Though the youth unemployment rate is indeed bleak for Britain, the situation is far worse on the continent. According to Eurostat, 5.6m 15-24 year olds are unemployed in Europe – around 23%. In Greece and Spain, the rate is over 50% after years of austerity measures following the recession.
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