It has been announced that the number of people in long-term unemployment has reached its highest level in 15 years, even though there has been an overall fall in the number of people who are unemployed across the UK.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of people who have been out of work for two years or more has risen by 181,000 compared to the previous quarter, while at the same time the number of people unemployed dropped by 65,000 in the same time period.  The rise in the number of long-term unemployment was the largest rise since 2010 and the total number of people out of work has reached 2.58 million, a rise of 132,000 when compared to last year.

Speaking about the figures, one employment expert said: “Today’s figures are good news and are further evidence that it is possible for the private sector to compensate for public-sector job losses. However, we still need to be cautious. Tens of thousands of university, school, and college leavers will be entering the job market over the summer and our latest data from recruiters shows hiring activity is slowing. The increase in long-term unemployment is a real concern which must be addressed immediately.”

He went on to add that he believed that prevention was the best way forward and that people should be given guidance about looking for jobs and recruitment before they have been unemployed for 12 months.

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