Labour Market Report #5: a mixed picture
Today we have published our latest Labour Market Report, which takes a brief look at the most recent employment data. Unemployment using the International Labour Organisation definition is down 4,000 from last month and the ‘claimant count’ fell 20,800 – this measure has fallen in eight of the last ten months.
There was some more good news in the employment figure, which was 119,000 higher than last month’s figure and 160,000 higher than the figure for the last quarter. The month-on-month change is biggest increase since records began in 1971, the quarter-on-quarter increase the biggest since 2006.
On the other hand, a lot of the increase in employment was due to a part-time employment, which was up 55,000 on the month and 148,000 on the quarter. The quarter-on-quarter increase is the highest ever recorded. There have also been large increases in temporary employment – 54,000 on the month, 78,000 on the quarter; these figures represent the biggest monthly increase and the second biggest quarterly increase ever. The number of people in ‘involuntary’ part-time and temporary jobs is also at a record level.
Taken together this is a mixed picture: the fall in unemployment and increase in employment is very good, but the reliance on ‘atypical’ jobs is a sign that there is still some underlying weakness.