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ONS Employment Statistics And Comments

ONS – Employment Statistics And Comments

There are now 80,000 more people in work - with all of the increase coming from full time jobs - according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

The growth was driven by further increases in private sector employment, which rose by 114,000 over the last three months - more than offsetting the 34,000 fall in public sector employment.

Employment growth was accompanied by a 24,000 fall in unemployment this quarter.  Unemployment in the UK is now lower than it was in early 2010, and significantly lower than the EU average.  

Today’s figures also showed:

The number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell for the 15th month in a row  

There was a drop of more than 6,000 in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance for more than 12 months. 

The number of people claiming the main out of work benefits is down by over 400,000 since the election - with total worklessness down by 454,000. 

Youth unemployment is 57,000 lower than this time last year

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said: “This is a really encouraging set of figures, with the number of people in work rocketing by 80,000 in only three months – a rise driven entirely by a growth in full time jobs.   

“The private sector has created jobs for 1.4m more people under this government, and there are now more people employed in the private sector than ever before. 

“These are all positive signs that suggest the UK economy is turning the corner.”

 Peter Searle, CEO of Adecco Group UK & Ireland "The ONS statistics released today are encouraging and a good barometer for the improving economy. However, more needs to be done by Government and employers to create and maintain a thriving and competitive jobs market.

"Our own data shows job vacancies are up, but my regular conversations with UK business leaders highlight the ongoing challenges they face in maintaining a competitive edge while attracting talent in a global market.

"The ONS statistics are promising, but employers, with the support of Government, need to invest in the skills needed to reap future benefits and offer flexible working opportunities to ensure we maintain a strong jobs market in an increasingly global market."

Commenting on today’s employment figures from the Office for National Statistics, director of policy of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation Tom Hadley says: 

“The jobs market continues to be on the road to recovery and there are signs that this recovery is accelerating. We’ve seen job vacancies rising to a six year high last month.  

“Looking ahead, the huge challenge we face is ensuring that there are enough workers with the right skills to meet this demand.  More efforts should be focused on addressing this skills gap rather than picking holes in flexible working arrangements.” 

He added: “We still need to do more to help young people break into the world of work and ensure that workers can continue to progress within the jobs market.  To achieve this, the priority must be to develop careers guidance network which is fit for purpose.”

Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad Financial and Professional, commented: “The jobs market is improving around the country – not just in the City. Every region is getting a slice of the cake. Job vacancies are increasing in most industry sectors, particularly in key areas like professional services and manufacturing. Employer confidence has soared, and that confidence is percolating all the way through the labour market and into the rest of the economy.

“That said, the government can’t get complacent. Although the north-south divide is narrowing, it is still prominent. And salary growth is still painfully weak, which is allowing inflation to steal a march and gobble up employees’ personal finances. And the government needs to do more to increase lending to SMEs, which will encourage small businesses to take on more staff.” 

“Employers have done a great job in helping more people get into work. They’re encouraging more flexible working, which has been particularly beneficial to women – there are 279,000 more women working part-time compared to five years ago. Part-time work accounts for 88% of the increase in the number of women in employment since 2008.”

Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, said: "These figures show the upturn in economic data we’ve seen through the spring and summer is starting to show up in job creation. Encouragingly, jobs growth in the private sector was more than three times greater than losses in the public sector.

"Despite better news on the direction of travel, youth unemployment is persistently high and growth alone will not address this problem.

“We’ve called on the Government to reduce employers’ National Insurance to help tackle this, and the launch of the Million Jobs campaign further emphasises the need for action to help young people enter a tough jobs market.”

CIPD Chief Economist Mark Beatsonsaid: "Today's headline figures continue the pattern of recent months, with increased employment and a smaller, although welcome, reduction to unemployment, which is now below 2.5 million.

“These results are in line with the latest CIPD/Success Factors Labour Market Outlook survey, which showed that employers' recruitment expectations were at their highest level since before the 2008 recession. Other recruitment surveys have been similarly positive. We have also now started to see increasing optimism in more general surveys of business sentiment, such as the purchasing managers' surveys. This suggests the employment market will remain buoyant in coming months. Jobs growth could even accelerate if the economy is indeed growing more quickly than had been expected. Another measure of employment, the number of workforce jobs, grew by 168,000 in a single quarter between March and June. July and August saw very big falls in the claimant count.

“With regular pay increases, at 1%, well below inflation, employers do not feel they need to raise general pay levels to recruit and retain workers. Hence there will be few immediate concerns about labour demand increasing inflation. However, for this situation to continue, those unemployed and outside the labour market need to be able to compete effectively for the jobs available, especially young people and the long-term unemployed. This means focusing skills training on the areas where jobs are becoming available as well as supporting those out of work to look for jobs. Employers recognise this and many are working hard on their own schemes or through initiatives like the CIPD’s own Learning to Workprogramme to ensure they are recruiting from the widest talent pools.”

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