UK unemployment is set to keep rising to 2.85m in 2012 and peak in 2013, says a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).The think tank, which specialises in employment, warns the private sector will fail to offset the 120,000 job losses in the public sector in 2012.But is does not detect signs of widespread new redundancies in the private sector.A government spokeswoman said the labour market was stabilising.Government measures should also stop the numbers of young and long-term jobless getting worse, the CIPD says."As long as there is a relatively benign outcome to the eurozone crisis we expect the 2012 jobs recession to be milder than that suffered in 2008-9," said John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD."But unemployment in the coming year will be rising from a much higher starting point, so the UK jobs market in 2012 will be weaker than at any time since the recession of the early 1990s."In response, a spokeswoman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "There has obviously been an unwelcome increase in unemployment since the summer but the latest unemployment figures show some signs that the labour market is stabilising."The number of people in employment is higher than last month's published figure and the number of unemployed people is steadying."She added that "the increase in those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has slowed and our welfare reforms are having a positive impact with overall benefit claimant numbers falling by around 40,000 in the last 18 months."However, shadow work and pensions minister Ian Austin said it was "crystal clear that this government is failing to get people off benefits and into work"."With unemployment continuing to rise, the benefits bill is going up too - and that's making the deficit harder to bring down."
Record joblessnessThe forecast is more downbeat than estimates published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in November.The OBR, which was set up by the government to provide independent assessments of the UK economy, expects unemployment to peak at 8.7% of the total workforce in the final quarter of 2012. The CIPD believes the unemployment rate will hit 8.8% in 2012.Official figures showed that the UK unemployment hit its highest level since 1994 in the three months to October, when it rose by 128,000 to 2.64 million.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the jobless rate for the three months to October was 8.3%, up from 7.9% in the same period last year.Youth unemployment rose to 1.027 million, the highest since records began in 1992.