From the TUC

Dole queues today nearly half the size of the 80s and 90s

21 Apr 2010, by in Labour market

Recent statistics suggest that the claimant count peaked at 1.63 million in September 2009, the last month of the recession. This high point was around 1.32 million people less than 1990s and 1.45 million fewer than the 1980s – even though the GDP drop during the recent downturn (over 6 percentage points) was greater than either of the previous two.

The number of people claiming Unemployment Benefit in the 1980s continued to rise for more than five years after the recession ended in April 1981 – peaking at over three million in June 1986. And during the 1990s, the number of people claiming rose for over a year after the recession ended in October 1991, peaking at 2.96 million in November 1992.

The following table documents the extent to which unemployment continued to rise after the 1980s recession.

1980s
Region Post recession increase in dole claimants Length of recovery time (months)
North East 54500 44 months
North West 134600 62 months
Yorkshire and the Humber 101500 64 months
East Midlands 61900 65 months
West Midlands 83700 27 months
East 71500 64 months
London 184300 65 months
South East 85400 49 months
South West 70000 64 months
Wales 49600 62 months
Scotland 102400 73 months
Northern Ireland 40500 69 months
UK 979300 63 months

And even in the far less severe 1990s recession some regions saw rising unemployment for significantly over a year:

1990s
Region Post recession increase in dole claimants Length of recovery time (months)
North East 15400 23 months
North West 35100 15 months
Yorkshire and the Humber 30900 15 months
East Midlands 29100 19 months
West Midlands 48600 15 months
East 55800 19 months
London 100600 20 months
South East 84400 15 months
South West 45900 15 months
Wales 13700 15 months
Scotland 24100 15 months
Northern Ireland 5200 17 months
UK 455500 15 months

In contrast, after the recent recession, the South East and the Midlands took one month to record a sustained fall in unemployment, with most other regions likely to hit three months of falling claimant levels when today’s statistics are released – the number of people claiming JSA is currently falling throughout England and Wales, though it continues to rise in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The evidence is clear – investment saves jobs and is vital for a speedy recovery, ensuring more workers move back into work more quickly and preventing those who lose their jobs from becoming permanently detached from the labour market. We hope that whoever forms the next Government will take note.

5 Responses to Dole queues today nearly half the size of the 80s and 90s

  1. Liberal Conspiracy » Wednesday 21st April
    Apr 21st 2010, 5:53 am

    […] Nicola Smith: Dole queues today nearly half the size of the 80s and 90s […]

  2. Mixed labour market figures show need to maintain investment | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC
    Apr 21st 2010, 12:26 pm

    […] is important to remember that despite its ongoing weakness the labour market is in a far better state than at comparable points following the 80s or 90s recessions. But the risks of a jobless recovery […]

  3. Tweets that mention Dole queues today nearly half the size of the 80s and 90s | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Apr 21st 2010, 1:15 pm

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  4. How is this compassionate Conservatism then? | johninnit
    Apr 21st 2010, 4:25 pm

    […] is way less of a problem than under the 80s and  90s recessions, thanks to active government this time round, but […]

  5. uberVU – social comments
    Apr 21st 2010, 8:30 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

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