UK jobs market

24 Aug, 2011

Official labour market statistics receives interesting comments from Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)…

“Today’s jobs figures are very disappointing but not unexpected. After a few surprisingly upbeat quarters the UK jobs market has finally caught up with the reality of weaker demand in the private sector and the impact of mounting public sector job cuts.

“As for the detail the figures are a mix of ups and downs – unfortunately most of them bad news. Unemployment is up (by 38,000 to 2.494 million on the quarterly Labour Force Survey measure and by 37,100 to 1.56 million for the month to June as shown by the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance). Jobs up for men (49,000) but down (24,000) for women, a clear signal of the impact of public sector jobs cuts. Youth unemployment is up (15,000). Redundancies are up (32,000) but vacancies are down (22,000). The number of people working part-time because they can’t find a full-time job is up (83,000 to 1.264 million). The rate of pay rises is up (2.6% including bonuses) but only by around half the rate of price inflation.

“The jobs market has clearly taken a turn for the worse since the start of the year with unemployment on the headline measure as well as the claimant measure now increasing. All that remains to be seen is how bad things get but given everything else we know about the economic outlook for the UK economy this year and next it looks like the only way is up for unemployment.”

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