UK Employment Keeps on Booming

Was there any bad news in today’s labour market numbers? if you were looking for it, it would be the fact that pay, rising by 1.6% (1.8% excluding bonuses) is still running below inflation, 2.6%. Or it would be that, at 8%, unemployment is still high, and much higher among young people.

But the big message from today’s figures is a positive one, with employment up by 201,000 over the April-June period to 29.48m, which is less than 100,000 below the pre-recession peak. Unemployment dropped by 46,000 to 2.56m, which is 8% of the workforce. Even the claimant count, which is being boosted by benefit changes, fell by 5,900 to 2.56m.

There may have been a small Olympics boost in employment in the figures, but it is absurd to suggest they are solely responsible for the rise. It is possible there has been a slowing in the pace of public sector job cuts (the next set of figures will be distorted by the reclassification of further education colleges).

But overall, the rise in private-sector driven employment and in hours worked – up strongly in the second quarter compared with a year earlier (more than 20m a week) is hard o reconcile with even a flatlining economy. Some can be explained by weakness in the energy sector, which is not closely linked to employment. Overall, though, it is a mystery. More here.

This post was originally published at David Smith’s EconomicsUK and is reproduced here with permission.

One Response to "UK Employment Keeps on Booming"

  1. Blogger Jobs   November 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    At least we have a reason to celebrate now. Olympics in London had been a great help in this figure.