The level of UK unemployment has fallen for the third month running according to the Office for National Statistics latest figures. The ONS said that the number of unemployed people fell by 46,000 to 2.56 million in the three months to June. This put the overall rate of unemployment at 8.0%, down previously from 8.2%, but still a long way off the pre-recession level of 5.3%.
Whilst the flexible nature of the temporary jobs market has often been praised, there was a record number of people who claimed to be working part time because they could not find full time employment. The ONS data showed this to be at 1.42 million in the same period; the highest figure since records began in 1992.
After describing the UK jobs market as “incredible” earlier this month, due to its continued positive performance despite the current economic conditions, the group’s chief executive Kevin Green again spoke of the sustained resilience and praised the impact of flexible workers.
“The UK labour market continues to defy gravity as the private sector carries on creating jobs. This month’s increase in employment means we are only 96,000 off the pre-recession peak for people in work. The continued resilience of our jobs market is a testament to the benefit of this country having the most flexible labour market in Europe.”
However, he did also warn of a “lull before the storm” with a number of factors, such as the eurozone, making it appear difficult for a continued upward trend, with a “zigzag recovery” more likely. Other analysts added that the impact of the Olympics may have distorted figures slightly, with a fall expected to be seen in next month’s figures.
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