Unemployment has reached a 17-year high of more than 2.5 million and youth joblessness is at record levels, new figures reveal today.
The jobless total jumped by 27,000 in the three months to January to 2.53 million, the worst figure since 1994, while the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work increased by 30,000 to 974,000, the highest since records began in 1992.
The unemployment rate for young people rose by 0.8% to 20.6%, also a record high.
Numbers could rocket further as the full force of government cutbacks kick in.
How to limit the financial damage
If you're out of work or are concerned you may soon lose your job, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself.
The Redundancy Help guide has a full break-down but here are some tips for starters:
- Pay off debts. If you've any spare savings, use them to clear outstanding credit cards or loans. Having debts hanging over you during redundancy is a nightmare. The cost of most debts vastly exceeds the interest earned on savings ...
- ... but, keep access to emergency funds. If you pay off debts, and it takes longer than planned to find a new job, you may need some money. More info in the Should I Repay My Debts? guide.
- Do a debt audit. If your debts are costing a fortune, consider switching to cheaper forms of credit. You may struggle if you're already out of work as that will harm your credit score. See the Best Balance Transfers, Best Bank Account, Cheap Loans and Mortgage Finding guides.
- Up your income. There are a host of ways to generate short-term cash, from mystery shopping to flogging your CD collection. See the Boost Your Income guide for ideas. Also reclaim mis-sold PPI (free template letters are available in the PPI reclaiming guide).
- Do a budget & money makeover. Run through your finances to see what bills you can cut (see the Money Makeover guide) and do a full budget to ensure you're living within your means (see the Free Budget Planner). The Stop Spending guide will also show you ways to cut back.
Further Reading/Key links
Ease the unemployment pain: Redundancy Help