Figures were recently announced showing unemployment rates falling to their lowest point in over a year, by 100,000 down to 2.51 million. Despite this news specialists are cautious of going ahead with optimism. The unemployment rate is projected to increase from 2012’s rate of 8.8% to 10.7% in 2016, the same rate it hit in 1993 at the tail end of the Early 1990s Recession. The claimant count has almost doubled since 2008, so these estimates don’t seem as pessimistic as some would hope.The looming figures go hand in hand with the limited expectations for economic growth in the immediate future. The Bank of England reduced its forecast for growth in 2013, now just 1%, and advising that GDP was unlikely to rise beyond the levels of just before the financial crisis for at least three more years.Considering the scale of the recent recessions it seems right to be cautious. The 2008-2009 crisis saw the deepest recession since the end of the first world war, GDP fell by a severe 7.1%. Hopes that unemployment would fall and the country’s situation was improving were dashed in 2011, when a second recession of 1.1% hit, the first “double-dip” recession to strike the country since 1975. This small, brief recession was still greater than the bank of England’s projected growth, and it doesn’t seem foolish to suspect things are as likely to worsen as they are to improve.There are some exceptions. Experts predict employment growth in the private sector, though this only applies to London. The region leads the country in terms of output and job creation, and it’s expected for this to continue even as businesses in the rest of the country falter and contract. The South East in general is expected to do fairly well, with unemployment falling from 6.3% to 5.6%, between 2012 and 2016. A small proportion of the South Eastern population is employed in the public sector, so hefty government budget cuts won’t affect the employment rate severely.Unemployment continues to be a serious issue and a personal tragedy for those experiencing it. In many areas one in five 16-25 year olds are unemployed, and numbers looking to approach one in ten nationwide. Particularly worrying is that even as the numbers seem to improve, long-term claimants are increasing. Over a third of the jobless have been so for over a year, with around a fifth being unemployed for over two years, and this number is consistently increasing. Meanwhile almost half of the jobs that have been created between 2010 and now are part time, and not enough to support people well.With growing numbers of individuals with no reason to hope they’ll ever find work, and those who do suffering from low wages and hours, prospects seem slim for the foreseeable future.