Unemployment set to rise in 2012, suggests CIPD


Karen Stromberg is looking for a job and she says "it's difficult to get an interview"

Unemployment will rise further in 2012, peaking at 2.85m in 2013 from 2.64m currently, says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The human resources industry body warns the private sector will fail to offset the 120,000 job losses in the public sector in 2012, but it sees no sign of widespread private sector redundancies.

The jobless rate is expected to hit 8.8% in 2012, from 8.3% most recently.

Government policy should help youth and long-term joblessness, the CIPD said.

"As long as there is a relatively benign outcome to the eurozone crisis we expect the 2012 jobs recession to be milder than that suffered in 2008-9," said John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD.

"But unemployment in the coming year will be rising from a much higher starting point, so the UK jobs market in 2012 will be weaker than at any time since the recession of the early 1990s."

In response, a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "There has obviously been an unwelcome increase in unemployment since the summer but the latest unemployment figures show some signs that the labour market is stabilising.

Average number of applicants per job

  • 23 per job across all sectors in the UK

Most competitive sectors:

  • 46 per customer service job
  • 45 per secretarial job
  • 42 per retail job

Source: Totaljobs

"The number of people in employment is higher than last month's published figure, and the number of unemployed people is steadying."

She added that "the increase in those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has slowed and our welfare reforms are having a positive impact, with overall benefit claimant numbers falling by around 40,000 in the last 18 months."

However, shadow work and pensions minister Ian Austin said it was "crystal clear that this government is failing to get people off benefits and into work".

"With unemployment continuing to rise, the benefits bill is going up too - and that's making the deficit harder to bring down."


Case study

Charlotte Foster

Charlotte Foster, 21, from Norwich, has been looking for a job since she graduated this year with a degree in English literature from Cardiff university.

"My Christmas job finishes this week and it won't continue, so next year will probably mean a lot of temporary jobs, jumping from job to job. Hopefully it'll be seen as a good thing by employers but they might also see me as flighty, unable to stick to one job.

"It will become even more difficult next year, especially with so many redundancies. People with 10 years experience are going to get the jobs rather than someone just out of university.

"I hate to think of my three years at uni as wasted, but I still don't think I'll be settled in a job by the time I'm 22 next November."

The situation is particularly difficult among young jobseekers.

Andy Preston set up the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation with other local businesses. It pays for young people in the area to take up apprenticeships.

Mr Preston told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that he sees the frustration many young people feel when they are looking for work.

However, he thinks there is some room for optimism: "We're managing to find some opportunities for some young people locally and hoping to find a lot more," he told the BBC.

That may not be good news for older job seekers, the CIPD's John Philpott points out: "In a weak economy where jobs overall are not rising, any benefit to young people is to the detriment of older people."

Record joblessness

The forecast is more downbeat than estimates published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in November.

The OBR, which was set up by the government to provide independent assessments of the UK economy, expects unemployment to peak at 8.7% of the total workforce in the final quarter of 2012. The CIPD believes the unemployment rate will hit 8.8% in 2012.

Official figures showed that the UK unemployment hit its highest level since 1994 in the three months to October, when it rose by 128,000 to 2.64 million.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless rate for the three months to October was 8.3%, up from 7.9% in the same period last year.

Youth unemployment rose to 1.027 million, the highest since records began in 1992.

Multiple applicants

Start Quote

One job has been created in the private sector for every 13 jobs lost in the public sector”

End Quote John Salt Director, Totaljobs

Meanwhile, in a separate study, online recruiter Totaljobs analysed their recruitment records for the past year, and the results paint a picture of a highly competitive jobs market.

Although the supply of jobs has increased by 8% across the UK, there has been a 42% rise in the number of applications.

According to Totaljobs, the average number of applications per job is 23. However, that hides wide variations across different industries: 46 people apply for every customer service job available; 45 for every secretarial job; and 42 applications per retail job.

Add in the variable of geography, and those numbers get even worse - on average 60 people apply for every secretarial job in London.

Regionally, competition is at a peak in the South East, with 33 applicants on average for every job, in contrast with East Anglia where only 10 apply for each job.

However, the part of the UK that has seen the greatest increase in competition is Scotland, where 16 people apply for every job - up from nine in 2010. This is largely due to a 28% drop in the number of jobs available, according to Totaljobs.

'Frozen out'

Jobs that need less technical training, such as customer services or secretarial jobs have seen applications per job rise by over 50%.

"This suggests that those without technical skills that are currently in demand could be frozen out of the workforce," John Salt, director of Totaljobs, told the BBC.

Sectors that are showing job growth - engineering, aerospace and the oil and gas industries - require specialised skills, and these haven't seen a rise in the number of applications.

Another structural problem in the labour market is the gap between the public and private sector.

The coalition government had hoped that the private sector would pick up the slack when public sector jobs were shed.

But Mr Salt said that according to his analysis, in the last six months to the end of November this has not happened: "One job has been created in the private sector for every 13 jobs lost in the public sector."

His advice for jobseekers is to be flexible about your location, salary and job, and to tailor your application.

"The most important thing is to be very clear and focused and not apply for hundreds of jobs with the same application," he said.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    17 Speed_of Dark

    The rich throughout history have a reputation for having scant regard for the poor. Which is how many of them became rich. Love your neigbour really doesnt make up their world view despite all their smiles and apparent heartfelt concern for the vulnerable and less fortunate. Psychopathology comes to mind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    Germany overtook the UK since 2008.

    The financial has been the turning point.

    Germany exports machines, goods and cars - Audi, VW. BMW, Mercedes.

    Germany overtook the UK:
    Unemployment rate Germany November . 2011: 6,3%
    UK: 8,3%


    Germany leading.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    15. monkeypuzzletree

    Restarting industry in this country would need financial investment, and since the rich are OK and those that need the jobs the industry would provide are poor, then no one will finance it. QED!

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Of course it is to worsen. We have a Tory Government. Even more so since we have the Libdems who outTory than the Tories.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    11, Davidspurr

    A good idea, but what can we start to make that our competitors aren't already ahead of us on either quality and price or both? While we have focused on finance they have been expanding and establishing makets for the products they make.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    I see the christmas spirit lingers on. 2.85 million? a bit opimistic given the disasterous 'growth' figures, increased government borrowing, falling disposable incomes etc...
    Example: our local newspaper had 2 jobs advertised in the 'job section', there are over 2000 people unemployed in this area. Over to you Osborne (again)

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Has John Salt been talking to "on your bike" Norman Tebbit ? if so he has become yet another "expert" on unemployment. I would suggest to Mr Salt that he come down from his expensive ivory tower and do a survey of the "jobs" on offer. The rates of pay of these "jobs" do not even pay the average living costs, but I very much doubt like Tebbit he would understand.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    What I don't understand is how healthy, talented people like the woman in the video can't so much as get an interview, yet one million sick/disabled people (ie on ESA) with long gaps in their CV are expected to find work. I mean they're not even counted as unemployed yet just as expected to find work. Why is that?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Countries in the world that are doing well are those that make things, rather than in financial dealings: China , Germany, and Japan still. There is no reason why Britain cannot excell in both, as we have a proven history manufacturing quality products. It needs an intellegent and effective government to not only encourage but actively support quality manufacturing once again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    "His advice for jobseekers is to be flexible about your location, salary and job, and to tailor your application."

    Being flexible about your location is fine if you're looking for work in a highly-paid, skilled industry, and can afford to relocate or spend lots on train fare/bus fare /petrol. Not so useful if you're going for minimum wage work, which let's face it, most work is, now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    8 Speed_of_Dark

    I am truly sorry to read what you have written, both about those who have taken their lives, and your own circumstances. Those who claim to govern on our behalf are more concerned with stats and credit ratings I would wager, than the real human cost of their actions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Agreed that's how they work and how little they care. I know disabled people have taken their lives for fear of these cuts. It's like eugenics one step removed. I am one living in fear of the DLA cuts starting 2013. No one will employ me, I can't sit or stand still, but I failed a trial PIP assessment.So I will have to live on £400 a month, which is frankly poverty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Obviously my views were very idealistic

    When I take into account that the rich are greedy and senseless then it prevents progress

    there's a real lack of opportunity for the unemployed as well for what isn't taught in schools is that connections trumps experience and qualification (looking at you BBC)

    I look forward to a new year under the stooges in parliament serving their rich masters...

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    I dread having to spend 2012 on the dole. Up here in Edinburgh it feels like the competition is incredibly fierce. The '16 applications per vacancy' feels far too low. The jobs market is far too competitive for even the most menial tasks. And if you're amongst the unfortunate who are highly educated yet inexperienced, you're utterly out of luck (such as myself.)

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    1 Speed_of_Dark

    Totally agree, but it is always easier for those in the government to say let's have your disability benefits and get a job. For them a cost cutting and cynical exercise, but for those at the recieving end a complete nightmare in the current economic woes.But it keeps the rating agencies happy, and that's what matters.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Unemployment of this level is an appalling waste of human potential. But, I am not sure that the Government views it as such. This government's cabinet comprises very wealthy people. They represent their class and, in particular, the interests of the City. These people are awash with money and not prepared to use it to get the economy going. Unemployment keeps wages low and disempowers the "99%".

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Cont. from 2

    Those with the money MUST start raising wags WITHOUT raising prices - I know your feeble brains cannot comprehend the idea of losing profit but it will get the economy going and in the end, raise much higher investment with the knowledge that the majority have money to spend on the projects to make a profit (money is your only motive in life)

    Until then no lasting jobs will be made

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    It's time for those with the money to start making some sense

    When unemployment rises then the upper class can only blame themselves for being penny-pinchingly stingey and pessimistic

    The rich has the money to get the economy going but are still waiting for someone else to pay, a contradictory viewpoint while they say "I worked for MY money" (those did the work were paid enough to survive)

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    It's frightening that as unemployment rises the government is taking benefits from disabled people and saying, go get a job. Who's going to employ us, at extra inconvenience and expense, when fully able people can't get work?

    The MSP vote of no confidence and outright horror at what is happening to the UK's disabled population is fully justified.


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