The latest employment figures from the Office for National Statistics has revealed a number of interesting points, most notably that unemployment fell once again to 2.59 million, a rate of 8.1% in the three months to July. Although these figures were higher than the three months to June, it was still down 0.1% on the previous quarter.
The overall number of people in work increased by 236,000 to 29.6 million, which the ONS said is the largest quarterly rise for two years. This was also very much down to the Olympics effect, which accounted for 91,000 jobs within this period.
The number of part time workers, including contractors and freelancers, rose by 134,000 to 8.12 million; the highest level since these records began in 1992. The new employment minister Mark Hoban, one of the ministerial changes from last week’s cabinet reshuffle, described the figures are showing “positive and encouraging signs” but also admitted that also some challenges too.
REC CEO Kevin Green was even more encouraging, saying “these are a remarkable set of figures which reflect the resilience of the UK labour market and show that the private sector is more confident about its business than reports would have us believe.”
Mr Green continued, saying that sectors such as healthcare, IT and engineering are continuing to create new jobs and driving demand for workers. He believes that despite some caution remaining within organisations, employers are retaining staff as they are expecting an uptick in the economy.
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