It’s no secret that Britain is struggling to repair itself as a result of the recession. Government cuts are leaving people with no other option than to claim benefits and battle to find work. Unemployment rates are still high although they decreased by 17000 between January 2011 and March 2011. Despite the decrease in unemployment, the number of Job Seeker’s Allowance claimants rose by 700 between February 2011 and March 2011, which isn’t exactly cutting government expenditure.
The recent recession obviously isn’t the first Britain has battled against. In the early 1980’s and the early 1990’s Britain also suffered recessions. So exactly how severe is the recession in comparison to past economic downturns? The highest rate of unemployment ever recorded in Britain was in January 1982, where unemployment rates rocketed to a staggering 11.9%. This is followed by the 1990 recession whose highest unemployment rate was almost 11%. This leaves the 2009 recession being the least severe, having an unemployment rate high of 8%. Obviously this is good news, but it doesn’t change the severity of the recession and the effects it has had on many people’s lives.
Current UK Claimant Highs and Lows
By comparing unemployment rates from March 2010 to March 2011 in the UK’s highest unemployment spots it can be said that unemployment rates are slowly decreasing. It’s definitely a positive step that the highest unemployment locations in the UK are showing a slight increase in employment. Birmingham Hodge Hill has the greatest decrease in unemployment whereas; Wolverhampton saw a drastic increase in unemployment. This could be due to closure of a major job source or further government cuts that have been threatened throughout 2011. Overall, the statistics show a slight decrease in unemployment but the UK still has a long journey ahead in terms of economic growth.
The government have also warned that further cuts planned in 2011 could spark an increase in unemployment once again. Combining the job cuts with a drastic increase in University fees in 2012 could spell disaster for the British population and young people have to make the costly decision of whether to choose higher education with minimal graduate job availability, or join many other youths who are forced on to the Job Seeker’s Allowance, spending the majority of their haphazardly day online job hunting with little success.
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