The rising number of freelance workers in the UK, as well as across Europe, has led to a further fall in unemployment according to the Office for National Statistics latest figures. In the three months to August unemployment fell to 2.53 million, dropping from 8.1% to 7.9% of the UK’s working population.
Alongside the fall in unemployment, employment rose to a record high of 29.59 million. There were further all round positive signs, with the number of people claiming jobseekers allowance falling, as well as unemployment amongst you people, aged 16-24.
REC CEO Kevin Green responded to the figures, calling them “another significant step on the road to recovery” and “truly amazing” given the recession and public sector cuts. He also stated that “the job numbers are being driven by flexible working”, adding; “Too many people talk down the value of part-time work, but it’s here in black and white – over 80 per cent of part-time employees chose to work that way.”
Labour MP and Shadow Work and Pensions secretary Liam Byrne spoke about the volume of temporary workers and contractors. He said that about 60% of the jobs created since the 2010 general election are either self employed or part time, with the number on temporary contracts at the highest for 10 years.
However, he criticised the government for their lack of support to UK workers, saying; “People in Britain are busting a gut and doing whatever it takes to get into work, but it just looks like the government are doing nothing to help them.”
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