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Unemployment rises to 2.62m

The number of unemployed people has risen by 129,000 in the three months to September to reach 2.62m, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The unemployment rate was 8.3 per cent of the economically active population, up 0.4 on the quarter, the unemployment rate is the highest since 1996 and the number of unemployed people is the highest since 1994. The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.2 per cent, down 0.4 on the quarter.

The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 23.3 per cent, up 0.1 on the quarter. There were 9.36 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, up 64,000 on the quarter.

The jobless total for 16 to 24-year-olds hit a record high of 1.02 million in the quarter.

The number of people out of work and claiming benefits rose 5,300 to 1.6 million in October.

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White paper — recording sickness absence

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions illustrate that sickness absence is still a major cost to businesses, with an annual bill for sick pay and associated costs to employers of £9bn. This paper from Jelf Employee Benefits looks at the importance of recording sickness absence for any employee health strategy and how this can be carried out in an efficient manner to reduce absence, improve employee engagement and drive up profits.

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