Belfast Telegraph

Unemployment in 2012 predicted to hit its highest level in 18 years

By Alan Jones

Unemployment will increase to 2.85 million in 2012, while the number of people in work will fall by 120,000 as jobs continue to be lost in the public sector, a new report predicted today.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) forecast that the jobless total will reach its highest since 1994, adding that it will peak at 2.9 million in the first half of 2013.

Long-term unemployment - those out of work for over a year - and the youth jobless total, are expected to stay just under a million, thanks to Government measures targeting the two groups, said the report.

The group predicted a "mild" jobs recession, with a continuation of "severe" pay restraint and pauses in productivity, features which have characterised the economy since the end of the recession in 2009. CIPD said if its unemployment predictions are true for 2012, it will be the first time the jobless total will have been at 2.85 million and rising since 1991.

It also believed that unemployment will not fall below 2.5 million before the middle of the decade because of slow economic growth.

The latest official unemployment figures showed that 2.64 million people were out of work, with 1.6 million claiming jobseeker's allowance.