From the TUC

Labour market analysis: vacancies and jobs show slow growth

14 Jul 2010, by in Economics, Labour market

As Richard’s post on Left Foot Forward has shown, today’s labour market statistics are mixed. While the rise in employment is welcome, full-time work remains elusive and job creation levels (in contrast to Chris Grayling’s assessments) are still low. Vacancies are also far from healthy.

Our analysis of last month’s data showed that vacancies across the economy were down 29% on their pre-recession levels, but today we have learnt that this picture is even worse: data revisions mean that the numbers of vacancies for  are lower than were published previously, and the fall from April 2008 has been 30%. Across the economy, in industries including construction, manufacturing , public administration and retail, there are simply far fewer jobs available than there were two years ago. As our new map shows, in many areas of the country there are not enough jobs for unemployed people to do.

Today the ONS have also published new estimates of workforce jobs, which are now broken down in more detail than previously. These data also show that between December 2009 and March 2010 there was only a 13,000 increase in the number of jobs (compared to an annual fall of 495,000). In particular, industries that have in the past been drivers of job creation are still doing badly. In construction the number of jobs fell by 63,000, in retail there was a 36,000 drop and education saw an 11,000 fall. As with previous recessions, manufacturing jobs are also still being lost, with a quarterly fall of 51,000.

There are areas where the number of jobs is rising. In adminstrative and support activities there was a 90,000 rise, and real estate (17,000) and electricity and gas (13,000) saw small increases. Professional scientific and technical sectors are also showing improvement, with a 52,000 quarterly includes in jobs. However, it remains to be seen whether these increases will be sustained – and whether they will soon start to be replicated in other sectors.

At the moment, the OBR’s job creation forecasts still look optimistic. At the current rate of progress, once 490,000 public sector job losses are factored in, there will be 230,000 less jobs in five years than there are just now.

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