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Comments on todays employment figures

Stuart Davis, Chairman of the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association, comments on today’s employment figures:

'As permanent jobs are cut throughout the UK, more people are considering selling their services as freelancers or contractors, thereby joining the growing flexible workforce in this country. Unfortunately however, these people will struggle because the current regulatory framework which they must adhere to in order to even start working as a freelancer or contractor is overly complicated and assumes that every freelancer and contractor is the same. In fact, the flexible workforce consists of highly skilled specialist workers at one end of the spectrum right through to vulnerable temporary workers at the other. Strong regulatory measures are needed to ensure the vulnerable are protected but this regulation is a hindrance to those highly skilled freelancers or contractors at the other end of the scale. Hence, the Government’s & lsquo;one size fits all’ approach to regulation is deterring the unemployed from joining the flexible workforce, preventing it from flourishing and consequently diminishing its potential contribution to the UK economy.’

& lsquo;As tough economic times threaten jobs daily around the UK, the way we work must evolve and this means the flexible workforce will increase and become even more diverse. It is therefore more important than ever for the Government to create a diverse legislative framework with a & lsquo;basket’ of supports, encouragements and protections to appropriately support the wide spectrum of workers which make up the flexible workforce. This way, we can enhance the significant contribution the flexible workforce is already making to the country’s economic recovery.’




The CBI today commented on the latest unemployment data showing that unemployment is the highest since 1995, with the number of people out of work rising by 118,000 to 2.685 million over the last quarter.

The number of 16-24 year olds looking for work rose to 1.043, representing 22.3% of this age group, 70% of who were not currently in full-time education.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:

“These figures show that unemployment continues to be a major concern and is particularly worrying for young people.

“Notwithstanding the gravity of the situation, over half of the headline rise in unemployment over the last quarter represents people who were previously economically inactive switching to actively look for work.

“The only way to resolve unemployment in the short-term is to pull out all the stops to get the economy moving and businesses growing. Specialist help for our young people, like the new & lsquo;Youth Contract’, will help support them to make the difficult transition into work.

But over the longer term, the Government must look at how our schools prepare people for working life through better careers advice, guidance and skills that employers need.”


Latest unemployment figures – REC comment

The number of people out of work in the three month period up until last November rose 118,000 to 2.68 million, the Office for National Statistics has revealed today.

Commenting on the latest figures, Kevin Green, the REC’s Chief Executive, said:

“The UK jobs market is struggling to cope with austerity measures but will bounce back in the medium term. Whilst the public sector has lost 67, 000 jobs in the last quarter, the private sector has continued to create new jobs, although not in sufficient numbers at present to compensate.

“However, we are continuing to see encouraging signs in terms of employers’ future hiring intentions and sectors such as IT, engineering and office professionals are already showing strong demand. Across all sectors, recruitment agencies fill on average 40,000 permanent jobs each month which shows that opportunities do exist.

“Looking ahead, things will get worse before they get better but we expect unemployment figures to stabilise in the second part of the year.”

On the latest youth unemployment figures, Kevin Green says:

“The Government’s Youth Contract needs to make an impact as quickly as possible to avoid young people being isolated in unemployment. One area that has not been adequately addressed is the need for a modern careers guidance network that helps young people make informed choices and compete in a difficult jobs market.”


Unemployment figures out today show uncertain times continuing

The Office for National Statistics released the latest UK unemployment figures today, show a rise in the number of people out of work. There are now 2.68 million unemployed people, up 118,000 on the quarter. 

With the impact of the global recession and continued economic and financial market uncertainty in the Euro area, indications are that the number of those seeking employment will continue to rise, while both permanent and temporary vacancies decline.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) forecasts that the number of people in work in the UK will fall by 120,000 in 2012 despite a continued 'productivity pause' and further real pay squeeze, with unemployment rising to 2.85 million and an annual rate of economic growth remaining below 2% until 2014. Despite the CIPD predicting "a mild rather than major jobs recession", this is not good news for jobseekers, especially for the badly affected group of 16-24 year olds.

Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP), believes it is particularly alarming that the financial and accountancy market has been in negative territory for two consecutive months. "I am afraid these are still tough times for job seekers in this sector, in particular for young people starting out in their careers. FSP continues to spearhead recruitment into the financial sector through its state-of-the-art online portal, Directions, which offers young people easy access to detailed, accurate and independent information on over 70 careers in the sector.

"Young people may apply for work placements, apprenticeships and graduate traineeships online. This way, they can start building relationships with employers early, learn what kinds of jobs are available and what skills and behaviours are required in the sector. Though it cannot solve the national unemployment problem, through Directions, FSP is helping to ensure the financial sector will have the skilled workforce it needs to continue to thrive in the future."


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