The ONS (Office for National Statistics) have released the latest Labour Market statistics for the period May to July 2013. The headlines of those statistics are that:
- The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.6%, up 0.2 percentage points from February to April 2013 and up 0.4 from a year earlier. There were 29.84 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 80,000 from February to April 2013 and up 275,000 from a year earlier.
- The unemployment rate was 7.7% of the economically active population, down 0.1 percentage points from February to April 2013 and down 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier. There were 2.49 million unemployed people aged 16 and over, down 24,000 from February to April 2013 and down 105,000 from a year earlier.
- The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 22.3%, down 0.1 percentage points from February to April 2013 and down 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier. There were 8.96 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 33,000 from February to April 2013 and down 52,000 from a year earlier.
- Total pay rose by 1.1% compared with May to July 2012. Regular pay rose by 1.0% over the same period.
The CBI commented on the latest official labour market data, showing that employment rose by 80,000 and unemployment fell by 24,000 in the three months to July. Stephen Gifford, CBI Director of Economics, said: “These figures show the upturn in economic data we’ve seen through the spring and summer is starting to show up in job creation. Encouragingly, jobs growth in the private sector was more than three times greater than losses in the public sector.
“Despite better news on the direction of travel, youth unemployment is persistently high and growth alone will not address this problem. We’ve called on the Government to reduce employers’ National Insurance to help tackle this, and the launch of the Million Jobs campaign further emphasises the need for action to help young people enter a tough jobs market.”
While Tara Ricks, managing director of Randstad Financial and Professional, commented: “The jobs market is improving around the country – not just in the City. Every region is getting a slice of the cake. Job vacancies are increasing in most industry sectors, particularly in key areas like professional services and manufacturing. Employer confidence has soared, and that confidence is percolating all the way through the labour market and into the rest of the economy.
“That said, the Government can’t get complacent. Although the north-south divide is narrowing, it is still prominent. And salary growth is still painfully weak, which is allowing inflation to steal a march and gobble up employees’ personal finances. The government also needs to do more to increase lending to SMEs, which will encourage small businesses to take on more staff.
“Employers have done a great job in helping more people get into work. They’re encouraging more flexible working, which has been particularly beneficial to women – there are 279,000 more women working part-time compared to five years ago. Part-time work accounts for 88% of the increase in the number of women in employment since 2008.”