In response to today’s unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics, Kevin Green, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, says:
“More people in work than ever before and the lowest unemployment in over a year is another significant step on the road to recovery. The truly amazing thing is that during the past year of a technical recession, and in spite of austerity and public sector cuts, the UK has created half a million jobs.
“The job numbers are being driven by flexible working – the number of full time posts has grown but the increase in temps and part-time workers has been even greater. Too many people talk down the value of part-time work, but it’s here in black and white – over 80 per cent of part-time employees chose to work that way.
“The jobs numbers show that the first round of public sector job losses, in reality, have been absorbed by the private sector – which wasn’t a forgone conclusion and is a reassuring sign of the strength of the labour market.
“Youth employment, though the lowest it’s been in over a year, is still unacceptably high and is unavoidable evidence that the government’s Youth Contract is not yet delivering. Relentless increases in the number of long term unemployed is worrying too as even when the economy picks up those hard core of unemployed may find they are permanently left behind.”