Unemployment figures set to shock

Updated: 

AP

New unemployment figures are due out on Wednesday, and all the signs are that they are set to be far worse than we could have feared.

The total number out of work is expected to be more than 2.52 million, the highest for 17 years. And that's not the worst of it.


Massive unemployment


The official figures will not be with us until Wednesday, but it isn't stopping the experts at Deutsche Bank having a good guess at the figures and coming up with some truly terrifying answers.

In all, they expect unemployment to be higher than the recent peak of 2,518,000. In fact they expect it to be more than 2,521,000 - the level we hit in 1994 when things were last in such dire straights. This astonishing level of joblessness means that 8% of people of working age could be out of work.

Hit hard


Those hit particularly hard include young people, who have never had an opportunity to build up the experience that would give them a chance in the jobs market. The number of 16-24-year-olds out of work has risen to a million for the first time since records began.

Last month's figures showed a huge spike in unemployment, with joblessness in the North East rising to 10.7%, in London to 9.6%, in Yorkshire, the Humber and the West Midlands to 9.1% and Wales to 8.4%. This months' figures are expected to show things have got even worse, and could be pushing 10% in a number of the regions.

The Deutsche Bank spokesperson blamed: "A combination of anxiety over the eurozone debt crisis and the slowdown of the US economy driving businesses to cut staff." However, the beginning of the cuts in the public sector are also taking their toll - both through job losses in the public sector itself and among those firms who supply the private sector.

The figures are bad enough, as they mean our jobs are more at risk than ever, the economy is unlikely to pull out of a slump in the near future, and the housing market could be in very real trouble soon as more forced sellers try to push their properties, and fewer buyers have the stomach for it any more. However, this isn't the worst of it.

According to the report from Deutsche Bank, by the beginning of next year the unemployment figure could have soared still further to 8.8%.

The message is grim. We can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.... all that lies ahead is a great deal more dark and gloomy tunnel.

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