Latest unemployment figures show positive news…

It is a hopeful sign that unemployment figures have gone down, according to figures released yesterday by the Office of National Statistics. The figures show that the ILO measure of unemployment fell to 2.65 million in the period December – February 2012 which is a decrease of 35,000 from the last quarter[1] and locally in North East Hertfordshire constituency 25 lower than last month, February 2012 . David Cameron referred to the national drop in unemployment in Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday[2] and I think we should be pleased with this drop when unemployment had risen last month. Thankfully North East Herts still retains a high level of employment which is listed as 71.3% for the year end to September 2011[3]. The number of unemployed claimants in North East Hertfordshire constituency in March 2012 was 1,433. This represents a rate of 3.0% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64, one of the lowest rates in the UK.

Elsewhere, the construction sector output has experienced 6.1% growth month on month in February[4] which is equally as encouraging, especially when compared to the 12.0% month on month decline that the sector experienced last January. I do hope that other sectors enjoy similar levels of growth in the months going forward especially when the UK has so much to look forward to in other directions with the start of the Olympics, due in the summer.

[1] http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lms/labour-market-statistics/april-2012/index.html
[2] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120418/debtext/120418-0001.htm#12041847000008
[3] http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP12-17
[4] http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/construction/output-in-the-construction-industry/february-2012/sumconsoutfebruary2012.html

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