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Unemployment has fallen by 63,000 to 1.96 million, latest ONS labour market data shows

Full-time jobs accounted for 95 per cent of the rise in employment over the past year, with private sector employment rising by 637,000, new official figures show.

Private sector regular pay also rose by 2 per cent, compared with inflation of 1.3 per cent, with strong wage growth in the manufacturing and business services industries according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, said, “As we come to the end of the year, it’s good news that unemployment continues to fall, as jobs are being created. It’s good to see even more people working full-time.

“We are starting to see the first signs of real pay growth picking up, which will have given households an encouraging boost in the run up to Christmas.”

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented, “The jobs market has passed several major milestones in the last month: pay has outpaced inflation and there are now more available vacancies than there are jobseekers. Our latest Jobs Report found there were 0.95 jobseekers per every available vacancy.

“But the recovery is more nuanced than it first appears. Although jobseekers outnumber available positions, there are not enough skilled workers to meet demand in booming sectors like Manufacturing and IT. Many of the jobs created over the last month have been seasonal slots to support customer service roles over the Christmas period. And the real wage increase is being helped by uncertainty in the Eurozone, and falling oil prices, which have forced inflation to artificially low levels."

“This skill shortage is pushing up salaries disproportionally in certain areas – but isn’t benefitting large chunks of the population. The government needs to focus on arming existing workers with new skills, and encouraging new entrants to our growing industries to make sure we capitalise on momentum in these areas.”

Greet Brosens, &lrmgroup sales director at Adecco Group UK&I, said, “Today’s labour market statistics confirm that the UK labour market is bouncing back. The continued fall in unemployment to 1.96 million people is great news for job seekers and businesses alike.

“The Autumn Statement, delivered earlier this month, already indicated that we are nearing a healthier and more balanced labour market, but more needs to be done to ensure that businesses have access to the skills they need. Many sectors, such as manufacturing, engineering and technology, still struggle to find the right people to fill roles. Whether we’re talking about experienced staff or young people entering the workforce, the focus should be on & lsquo;employable skills’.

“Overall, the UK can take great encouragement from today’s figures butwe must not lose sight of the ultimate goal of building a globally competitive, highly-skilled and dynamic labour force.”

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, said, “As we come to the end of the year, it’s good news that unemployment continues to fall, as jobs are being created. It’s good to see even more people working full-time.

“We are starting to see the first signs of real pay growth picking up, which will have given households an encouraging boost in the run up to Christmas.”

Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, said, "These remarkable figures show that our long term economic plan to create a better more prosperous future for Britain is working. Behind them are countless stories of individual hard-work and determination, with more people than ever before feeling financially secure.

"What we can see at the end of 2014, is that our welfare reforms are ensuring that people have the skills and opportunities to move into work. Whether that's work experience for young people to get their foot on the career ladder, the Benefit Cap encouraging people to get a job, or the Work Programme which is helping more people than any previous jobs scheme.

"These figures show that our long term economic plan to create a better more prosperous future for Britain is working - with thousands of people feeling more secure over the Christmas period with a regular wage.”

Ian Burke, director of totaljobs.com, says, “Unemployment is still falling, yet it continues to drop at a slower pace than we’ve become accustomed to. While the ONS data show the number of people in work has risen, the figures are likely to be driven in part by an increase in short-term and insecure work over the festive season.

"With the timely return to growth in real wages in November indicating that the labour market is steadily returning to normal, it’s vital that people currently employed in seasonal jobs are gaining the required skills and & lsquo;on-the-job’ experience to secure valuable long-term employment in 2015.”

 

 

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