There was good news for contractors and the UK jobs market as a whole with the news this week that unemployment fell for the second month running. The latest figures from the Office for National statistics show that unemployment fell by 65,000 to 2.58 million in the three months to May, with the rate of unemployment down by 0.2% to 8.1%.
With the number of people in employment rising by 181,000 to 29.35 million, employment minister Chris Grayling described the situation as encouraging that there are improvements across the board. However, long term unemployment rose, putting those out of work for more than two years up to 441,000, the highest since 1997, and Mr Grayling said that the figures are still “much too high.”
REC Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, was also fairly positive about the overall figures, describing them as “good news” and “further evidence that it is possible for the private sector to compensate for public sector job losses”.
He continued that we must still remain cautious about the jobs market, as there is still likely to be a zigzag pattern with good months and weaker ones, as the UK gradually progresses out of recession. Mr Hadley’s biggest concern was the increase in long term employment, something he said must be addressed immediately as well as looking at earlier support and guidance for those who are struggling to find work.
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