The State of Unemployment in the United Kingdom

Written by Morgan Spice
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Unemployment is a pressing issue in the United Kingdom. Unemployment rates have been on the rise since the recession in 2008 and show no signs of slowing down. There are many reasons why people are unemployed, and it is essential that we understand these reasons in order to come up with solutions. This blog will explore the history of unemployment in the UK and how it affects different parts of society. It will also explore some possible solutions to this problem.

A Brief History of UK Unemployment

The unemployment rate in the UK peaked at just over 23% in 1933, during the Great Depression. After World War II ended, the government began to invest in infrastructure projects, which led to a decrease in unemployment. The welfare state was also established during this time, which provided benefits and assistance to those who needed it.

Since the early 2000s, however, the unemployment rate in the UK has been on the rise. In 2008, it reached over 800,000 people. Austerity and the recession caused many companies to lay off workers, and the number of unemployed people has continued to increase. As of 2016, there are just over 900,000 people who are unemployed in the UK, and by the end of 2022, it is estimated that there will be over one million unemployed people. The global coronavirus pandemic has also directly impacted UK unemployment, with young adults and over 65s being the hardest-hit age groups.

National Implications of Unemployment

Unemployment has several adverse effects on society. It can lead to poverty, social exclusion, crime, and violence. Unemployment also affects mental health, leading to depression and anxiety. Young people are significantly affected by unemployment, as they are less likely to have access to benefits and support.

Large-scale unemployment also has a negative effect on the economy. When people are unemployed, they have less money to spend, leading to a decrease in demand and an increase in inflation. This can also cause businesses to close down, creating a catalyst for more unemployment. These impacts emphasize the importance of reducing unemployment.

Who Does it Affect?

The unemployment rate varies depending on age, gender, and location. The youngest people have the highest unemployment rate, with over 10% of 16-24 year-olds currently unemployed (UK Parliament). The unemployment rate for women is also significantly higher than for men, and the north of England has a much higher unemployment rate than the south.

Potential Solutions

Several solutions have been proposed to target unemployment in the UK. The most obvious solution is to create more jobs. The government could invest in infrastructure projects or provide incentives for businesses to create more jobs. Another solution is to ensure that people have the skills and qualifications they need to find a job. The government needs to invest in education and training or provide financial assistance to those who want to retrain. 

Finally, the government could help connect unemployed people with available jobs. The government should also offer more benefits and assistance to the unemployed, and businesses incentivised to hire workers from disadvantaged groups.

In conclusion, unemployment is a pressing issue in the United Kingdom. The number of unemployed people has been on the rise since the recession in 2008, and there are no signs of it slowing down. There are many reasons people are unemployed, and several solutions have been proposed to address the problem. For advice on starting or changing your career, take a look at the resources available at Refreshing a Career. For live job opportunities, take a look at our specialist jobs board!

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