Employment: Jobs are growing – but there is a long way to go

Employment trendsA million more people are in work compared to early 2010. The number of unemployed people in the UK has dropped by 18,000 in the last three months. And the number of people in jobs is at the highest level ever, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Liberal Democrat minister Steve Webb says:

The Liberal Democrats in government have helped business create more than a million private sector jobs, and now we are working to help create a million more… There is a long way to go, but the economy is on the mend and jobs are crucial to building a stronger economy in a fairer society that allows everyone to get on in life.

Unemployment is down to 7.7% of the economically active population, that’s down 0.1% from March to May 2013 and 0.2% points from a year earlier.

A record number of people are in work – 29.87 million, 71.7% of those aged 16-64. This was 72.5% in mid-2008 – employment is growing but so is our population.

ONS Employment Rate mid-2008 to mid-2013

The ONS says that in June to August 2013, there were 1.45 million employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job.

The proportion of workers in the public sector has fallen from 21.7% after the 2010 election to 19% now. From the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 104,000. Employment in local government fell by 145,000 whilst central government increased by 55,000. The number of people employed in the private sector increased by 380,000 to 24.2 million over the same period.

The number of UK nationals in employment increased by 208,000 to reach 27.04 million; while non-UK nationals increased by 98,000 to reach 2.68 million.

The unemployment rate is not greatly different than before the election, but between August and September 2013 the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 41,700 to reach 1.35 million, the lowest figure since January 2009. Between September 2012 and September 2013 the number of JSA claimants fell by 214,500. (The BBC has a handy graphical breakdown of claimants by constituency).

ONS Unemployment Rate mid-2008 to mid-2013

ONS Claimant Count mid-2008 to mid-2013

Job losses through redundancy continue but they are way down on the level caused by the 2008 crisis. And job vacancies are up.

ONS Redundancies mid-2008 to mid-2013ONS Job Vancancies mid-2008 to mid-2013

There is a lot more detail in today’s statistical release. But the headline indicators show that trends are upwards. It really is getting better.

Yes, the recovery is fragile. Yes, we have a long way to go. But it looks like we are finally going there.

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem living in Shropshire, and a former editor for Lib Dem Voice

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4 Comments

  • Ed Shepherd 17th Oct '13 - 7:30am

    How many of these jobs are at NMW? How many are part-time when the employee wants full-time? How many are zero-hours contracts? How many are dead-end jobs that lead nowhere? How many are with the dodgy companies offering odd commission-only work that seem to proliferate? Creating a million jobs is one thing. Creating a million worthwhile jobs is quite another.

  • Jonathan Hunt 17th Oct '13 - 12:34pm

    How many are these new “jobs” are on sero hours contract?

    I think Steve we should be told. Steve Webb should teell us.

  • Jonathan Hunt 17th Oct '13 - 12:36pm

    Sorry that escaped. should read:

    How many of these new “jobs” are on zero hours contracts?

    I think we should be told. Steve Webb is the man to tell us.

  • D. Waddington 19th Oct '13 - 2:34pm

    Government has shot itself in the foot somewhat. Most companies are taking on part-timers, and these people pay no tax and little or no N.I. contributions, thanks to Lib Dem policy of taking low-paid out of tax. So State coffers lose out. Also I have a son, unemployed for 2 years, who appears on no statistics; cannot claim job-seekers allowance because he has rented his house to cover massive mortgage payments. Meanwhile I have no cash to spend whilst subsidising him. Friends also have family members close to 40 in similar state, also appearing on no unemployed statistic. How many more thousand are out there ? It’s not surprising UKIP is on the rise – – hosts of companies are employing immigrants in preference to children of the UK middle classes, and then denigrating and penalising the latter for being shirkers.

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