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There are more people in employment than ever before, according to new statistics published today. Unemployment has fallen again and youth unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in a year.?

The Minister for Employment, Mark Hoban, today welcomed the news as he met with new employees of Whitbread’s Premier Inn, who used their experience of working and volunteering at the Olympics to secure permanent employment.?

The new figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, show a rise in employment compared to the previous quarter, up 212,000 to 29.59m. Over the past year as a whole employment has risen by more than half a million.?

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:??“It’s a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before. Despite the tough economic times the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170,000 fewer people on the main out of work benefits than in May 2010.

"The big fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, but we know this remains a challenge which is why we have the GBP 1 billion Youth Contract offering nearly 500,000 work experience places, apprenticeships and wage incentives to help young people get a job."

Unemployment fell by 50,000 to 2.53 million (ILO measure).?Youth unemployment has fallen below 1 million to 957,000. Of those, the number of 16 to 24 year olds out of education and seeking work is now 658,000, down 61,000 on the quarter. Thenumber of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance also fell by 6,600 in September, to 435,500.?

Full-time employment is up 88,000 this quarter. There are also an extra 125,000 people in part time jobs - 104,000 of whom are people who did not want a full time job.?

There are also more job opportunities available, with the number of unfilled vacancies at 476,000, up 3,000 on the quarter and 17,000 on a year earlier.?

The number of people on Jobseeker’s Allowance fell 4,000 between August and September, to 1.57 million, the third consecutive monthly fall. This is despite reform of eligibility for lone parents benefits and reassessment of people on Incapacity Benefits continuing to add to the JSA caseload over this period.??

This comes on the day that the Government announced widening access to New Enterprise Allowance, which helps entrepreneurial jobseekers start their own business, with 33,000 more people to benefit from advice from a mentor to draw up a business plan.?

Commenting on today’s ONS labour market statistics, Neil Owen, Global Practice Director, Robert Half International said: “While the long-term state of the economy is still unclear, today’s labour market figuresare positive and may signal the UK jobs market is finally turning a corner. We’ve seen 212,000 more people employed from June to August 2012 over the three preceding months, and a national unemployment rate falling 0.2% to 7.9%. While employment is growing faster than GDP, businesses tasked with growth are taking this opportunity to invest in highly skilled professionals to support new initiatives aimed at delivering return in the medium and long-term.

“Our clients still report a shortage of the most in-demand and commercially-minded professionals as most vacancies are for roles that will support revenue-generation and business strategy. The financial services sector is simultaneously charged with managing expanding regulation, minimising risk and ensuring compliance requirements are met while accountancy departments are also managing controls and financial reporting. Balancing these activities along with revenue generation is challenging, especially as companies aim to also manage head count costs with salaries rising for the most in-demand professionals in these niche areas.”

Flexible work drives record employment

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.”


The CBI today commented on the latest official labour market data, showing that employment rose by 212,000 in the three months to August and unemployment fell by 50,000. The number of employed young people rose by 51,000, and youth unemployment fell to below one million for the first time in a year.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, said, “Businesses are still creating jobs in a very tough economy, with employment rising by 212,000 in the three months to August. It is particularly encouraging that youth unemployment has started to fall, which suggests that job prospects for young people are picking up.

“But despite the positive news, we still have more than two and a half million people out of work, so today's data shows that much remains to be done.

“Progress on unemployment will require sustained economic growth. Addressing issues with access to finance and getting shovels in the ground on key infrastructure projects should be priorities for the Government.

“Effective investment in skills - aligning government spending with what employers need - is also an area where we can make progress, building on the success of the employer ownership pilots run by UKCES. Raising skill levels is an essential part of tackling long-term unemployment.”

Strengthening labour market polarised by growing tail of long-term unemployed

Commenting on the ONS Labour Market statistics released today, Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), comments: “A quarterly rise of more than 150,000 employees offers the strongest evidence for some time that the jobs market might be gathering genuine momentum, with growth now being driven by firms rather than the self-employed. Almost every economic indicator is tentatively improving with redundancies falling, vacancies rising and increases in basic pay edging to a level close to the current rate of inflation. However, with around a third of this increase in employment being taken up with temporary work, the figures also highlight the uncertainty still felt by many employers.

“Also interesting to note is the reversal of the recent trend in the proportion of migrant and UK born workers filling vacancies. Recent quarters had seen UK-born workers fare less well in relation to non-UK born workers. However, three quarters of the employment increase is now being taken up by UK-born workers, which suggests that the government’s jobs search requirements are working.

“The only cloud on the government’s horizon is the growing tail of long-term unemployed. All eyes will now therefore be on Work Programme providers’ task of bridging the gap between the demands of employers and the employability skills of the long-term unemployed”.

Following the decrease in unemployment, as released by the ONS this morning, Felicity Staff, Associate in the Employment team at Charles Russell LLP, commented: “This month’s labour market figures will no doubt be welcomed by the government in the wake of the Conservative Party Conference, who will point to further decreases in unemployment as a defining sign that “Britain is on the rise”. Yet a healthy scepticism is to be encouraged. Let us not forget the bolstering impact of the Olympics on these figures, which cover the June-September 2012 period. The fact remains that, in the wake of the Olympics, a staggering proportion of young people remain out of work (particularly in the North East of England). While the government’s Youth Contract Scheme is hoped to offer 500,000 opportunities for aged 16-24s over the next three years (by way of work experience, apprenticeships and wage subsidies), the self-confidence of many young people, and their hope of finding work, is waning.”


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