Wasteland: Europe stalked by spectre of mass unemployment
Rise in UK claimants prompts calls for rethink in austerity plans
By Alistair Dawber
Thursday, 16 September 2010
The UK’s fragile economic recovery was exposed yesterday by disappointing employment figures and an unexpected rise in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits.
The claimant count, which measures the number of people claiming jobseekers’ allowance, increased by 2,300 in August, the first rise since December last year, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The jump confounded City forecasts, which had pointed to further declines – and will alarm policy makers, coming as it does in the wake of this week’s IMF warning that Europe risks becoming an employment “wasteland” in which joblessness threatens entire societies.