REC, CBI & CIPD Comment On Rise In Unemployment
REC, CBI & CIPD Comment On Rise In Unemployment
Recruitment industry commitment still focused on helping unemployed, says REC.
Unemployment in the UK has risen yet again to 2.26 million in the first three months of 2009, which is the highest since November 1996.
The figures, published today by the Office of National Statistics and which cover the period until April, also showed that the jobless rate rose to 7.2 per cent, the highest for nearly 12 years.
Responding to these latest figures, Kevin Green, the RECs Chief Executive said: "The rise in unemployment is expected, but still troubling. The recruitment industry is committed to providing a route of out of unemployment through temporary, contracting or interim opportunities. It has therefore never been more important to ensure that the temporary jobs market is not adversely affected by the introduction of regulations, such as the Agency Workers Directive. This must be delayed until the last possible date in 2011.
All our efforts should be focused on moving the unemployed back into work as soon as possible rather than introducing regulation which could deter employers from the very jobs we need to combat the recession. Recruiters are working with their local Jobcentres to make sure that workers have access to all possible job opportunities."
CBI REACTION TO LATEST UNEMPLOYMENT FIGURES
The CBI commented on todays (Wednesdays) figures showing unemployment has increased to 2.26 million, the highest for 12 years.
John Cridland, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
The numbers of jobless are continuing to rise and were clearly not through the worst yet. Sadly, the CBI expects these figures to continue to rise and peak at 3 million in the spring of 2010.
Making job cuts is the last thing that businesses want to do, and the government must do everything it can to help firms keep people in their jobs, as well as giving advice, training and support to those who have become unemployed.
Official labour market figures published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a further steep rise in UK unemployment in the February-April quarter. John Philpott, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) described the figures as grim but not unexpected but added that figures for the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (the claimant count) were amazingly good given what we know about the state of the jobs market, though too puzzling to yet be seen as a genuine green shoot.
With todays ONS figures covering the first full year since the labour market downturn started in 2008, Dr Philpott today particularly highlights:
Total employment down 0.4 million
Private sector employment down 0.7 million
Public sector employment up 0.25 million (5%)
Biggest impact of job losses hitting men and young people, when compared to women and the over 50s respectively
Impact on manufacturing would have been greater without efforts by employers to implement alternatives to redundancy.
Dr Philpott, analysing todays figures, said:
Overall labour market situation and outlook
Anyone looking for green shoots of recovery in todays jobs figures will have little to grasp at. The recorded quarterly fall in employment and rise in unemployment still ranks amongst the worst seen in the post-war era. Vacancies are drying up at a rapid rate and redundancies go on rising. The grim news thus continues, though this is not unexpected given the dire state of the economy at the turn of the year.
There is little in todays figures to suggest that unemployment will not rise above 3 million next year. The one glimmer of hope is the claimant unemployment count. Not only is the count increasing much more slowly than might be expected but remarkably the number of people flowing onto the count actually fell in May. If indicative of underlying economic factors rather than the result of the way in which benefits are administered or a reduced propensity for unemployed people to sign on at Jobcentres - these claimant figures are amazingly good given what we know about the state of the jobs market, though too puzzling to yet be seen as a genuine green shoot.
A year of jobs market recession
The horrible human impact of the first full year of the jobs recession is now known. In all 0.4 million fewer people are in employment. The toll on the private sector has been horrendous almost 0.7 million jobs have been lost. The public sector by contrast has added more than 0.25 million jobs (a 5% increase) although as the CIPD warned earlier this week the public sector is likely to shed 0.35 million jobs in the next five years.
The burden of net job loss has fallen entirely on full-time employees. The total level of self-employment and part-time employment is broadly unchanged from a year ago. It has also generally been a man-cession. The redundancy rate for men has more than doubled. The number of men in work has fallen by 2%, the number of women in work by 0.6%. The number of men unemployed has increased by 45%, the number of women unemployed by a quarter. This pattern is mainly explained by the relative buoyancy of part-time employment and the growth in public sector employment, types of employment in which women are strongly represented.
Young people aged under-25 have fared far worse than the over-50s, though the latter have seen relatively larger increases in unemployment because they have fewer education, training or employment options if they do lose their jobs. Migrants have also prospered relative to non-migrants. The number of UK born people in work has fallen by 1.8% during the course of the jobs recession so far, while the number of non-UK born people in work has increased by 3.5%.
The manufacturing sector has shed 0.2 million jobs a 6.7% decrease. The other big job shedding sectors are distribution, hotels and restaurants and finance and business services. These sectors each shed 2.8% of their workers. While this was a recession triggered in the finance sector, as in most previous recessions it is the real economy, and manufacturing in particular, that has suffered most. The amount of job losses in manufacturing is also noteworthy because this is the sector which has shown the greatest effort on the part of employers and workers to seek alternatives to redundancy, such as pay freezes, pay cuts and short-time working. Without such welcome action the impact of the recession on UK manufacturing employment might have been far greater still.
Manufacturing workers have also experienced the fastest rate of decline in the rate of growth of average earnings since the recession began. Excluding bonuses, manufacturing pay-packets were increasing by an annual rate of just 1% in the year to April much less than the 2.9% gained by those in private sector services and 3.5% in the public sector.