Tomorrow the Office for National Statistics will release employment data for Great Britain that is expected to show rising unemployment and record high youth unemployment.
Claimant count unemployment is expected to have fallen by 3,000 in March, making for a claimant count unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent.
However in the three months to February unemployment, using the International Labour Organization measure, is predicted to rise by 27,000 to 2.55 million, a figure which is likely to include record high youth unemployment. The unemployment would therefore be likely to remain at of 8.0 per cent. Employment in the three month period is also expected to rise 70,000 to 29.16 million, although this would still be lower than employment of 29.2 million reached in the three months to September 2010.
A rise in both unemployment and employment would suggest that the British economy is not generating new jobs fast enough for a growing workforce.
Howard Archer, Chief Economist of HIS Global Insight, said, "Jobs data may well be mixed in the near term, but we suspect that unemployment will trend up gradually later on in 2011. Specifically, we forecast unemployment on the ILO measure to rise to 2.67 million by end-2011 and to peak around 2.75 million around mid-2012. This would see the unemployment rate rise to 8.4% by end-2011 and to a peak of 8.6% in mid-2012. Major job losses will occur in the public sector as the government slashes spending, and we doubt that the private sector will be able to fully compensate for this.
"Indeed, we expect firms to become increasingly cautious in their employment plans over the coming months, reflecting slower, below-trend growth and concerns that the intensified fiscal squeeze will hold back economic activity for an extended period. There are also likely to be significant job losses in private sector companies supplying services or goods to the public sector. In particular, many firms are likely to try to meet any increase in business through making greater use of the workers they have already or through using part-time staff, and they are likely to be reluctant to take on any more permanent staff unless they are really convinced that sustained improvement in their business is probable."