Written as a follow up article from my first published, ‘Graduate Unemployment on the Rise’, I now aim to focus not only on graduate unemployment, but on widespread unemployment affecting everyone in the UK, no matter what their qualifications or experience. Although this has always been a major issue, unemployment figures have never been higher than they are today, and people are finding that more and more often they are being made redundant or simply cannot find their dream job – meaning that the struggle for employment is rife.

A recent survey informed researchers that unemployment figures have reached a whopping 2.16 million, and the number of people seeking jobseeker’s allowance now stands at 1.1 million in the UK alone. Youth unemployment, which covers those between the ages of 16-24, stands at 853,000 on its own – meaning that many teens are coming out of school and making little or no effort to get a job.

Angela Merkel, a German politician, believes that youth unemployment is the “most pressing problem” for Europe, and that the UK could take advice from the German system; focusing more on apprenticeships and not just academic study. This would help provide more stable job prospects – learning a trade rather than a subject can often come in handy. However, at the moment the UK government is aiming to create more jobs in the private sector in order to decrease recent figures and allow for more people to begin working. This move comes after many public sector jobs, including those provided by banks such as Lloyds, were lost – the figure mounting to 11,000, without considering other practices and sectors struggling at the time.

A recent survey revealed that many people are working part-time because they are unable to find a full-time job, leading to various cases of job dissatisfaction. There just aren’t the opportunities for everyone to work in the perfect environment, but truth be told – having a mediocre job is better than having no job at all. Further job dissatisfaction comes from the fall in wage growth, which means that even those who are in work are struggling to afford basic necessities, especially since inflation is rising higher than the average set of wages. The growth of wages, which was expected to sit at 1.2 percent this year, has actually fallen to 0.7 percent, while inflation rates are as high as 1.8 percent – meaning that people have less and less money in their pockets. This fall in wages paired with some household members being out of work is definitely set to cause a struggle for many across the UK in coming months.

As you are probably already aware, employment and unemployment are the most closely documented indicators of the economic state of Britain. Being unemployed or “economically inactive” means that a person has to declare that they are not working, that they are available for work and that they have attempted looking for a job in the past month. Unfortunately, even someone who has already obtained a job but has to wait before starting is also classed as unemployed, which gives a margin of uncertainty when questioning people on their economic status – any given figure must allow for 3 percent plus or minus the apparent unemployment level. But with the number having reached 2.16 million, even with the possible deduction of 3 percent, there’s still an unfortunate amount of people out of work, and something still needs to be done.

A labour force survey taken out by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) claimed that it was 95 percent confident in the results they have received, quizzing most households in the UK and hence being the country’s biggest household survey. With this amount of certainty, it is therefore acceptable to believe that something needs to be done about unemployment – and fast. A weekly visit to the job centre clearly isn’t doing the trick for some people, and the government are adamant that next year will be different in terms of unemployment figures. It is clear that more needs to be done in terms of motivating youths to go out and earn money rather than just claiming unemployment benefits, while various sectors are currently struggling and laying off staff members, which is hindering rather than helping. Many Brits have expressed their torment at being knocked back from jobs for being overqualified and writing out hundreds of applications with little to no response from possible employers.

With this in mind, then, the future is looking dire for Britain. People become forced to tighten their purse strings due to decreasing wages and increasing inflation, meaning that businesses struggle, which in turn causes people to lose their jobs. The cycle is continuous, and will be difficult to break – and government promises are proving hard to believe after little has changed in regards to their previous policies concerning unemployment. They are, however, aiming to make some big changes and are reportedly happy with their progress thus far – you never know, maybe the future is bright after all.




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