The fall in unemployment was smaller than the rise in the number of economically inactive people who want work.
Today’s employment figures were good; employment was up and unemployment down:
|Nov – Jan||Feb – Apr||Change|
The employment rate was up (0.3 points) and the unemployment rate was down (0.2 points). Total hours worked increased as well, continuing a trend that has been noticeable for a year:
In previous months, we have reported that good overall figures have disguised an increase in underemployment and a decline in the number of full-time jobs and there was an increase in underemployment:
|Nov – Jan||Feb – Apr||Change|
|Involuntary temporary work||612,000||607,000||– 5,000|
|Involuntary part-time work||1,383,000||1,408,000||+ 25,000|
|Total underemployment||1,995,000||2,015,000||+ 20,000|
But that is less of an issue this month – full-time jobs accounted for half the increase in employment and the total number of people in temporary jobs fell by 2,000; employees working full-time only accounted for 27,000 of the increase in employment, but it is an increase rather than a fall.
The redundancy level came down (by 18,000) and so did the redundancy rate – the number of redundancies per thousand employees, which came down 0.7 to 6.2. There was a slight (1,000) increase in the number of vacancies, but the number of unemployed people per vacancy remained at 5.7.
There are negative results, with a disturbing increase in long-term unemployment:
|All over 6 months||All over 12 months||All over 24 months|
|+ 9,000||+ 30,000||+ 29,000|
|Highest figure since||Jun-Aug 1995||Jul-Sep 1996||May-Jul 1997|
There was an 8,100 increase in the Claimant Count measure of unemployment, though the key point to bear in mind here is that the numbers claiming JSA have essentially flatlined for about nine months:
The fall in unemployment was smaller than the rise in the number of economically inactive people who want work (59,000) – this figure has risen in five of the last six months. Youth unemployment came down 28,000, but there was a 19,000 increase in the number of under-25s not in full-time education and not in employment.
Average weekly earnings (regular pay) in April were 1.8 per centage points higher than 12 months previously; this is up from 1.6 per cent in March, but still well below the 3.1 per cent increase in the Retail Price Index, so real wages are still falling.
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