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In a firmly established recovery businesses are creating full-time jobs

The recent labour market statistics indicate that the recovery  is now firmly established. The number of people in work has risen again.

Although this growth is slower than that seen earlier in 2014, this is not unreasonable given that the employment rate is now almost back to where it was before the economic crisis began. 

UK employment (000s) Source: ONS 2015, February labour market statistics

Unemployment has also dropped, particularly for those who have been out of work for the longest periods of time. That said, stubbornly high youth unemployment remains a concern.  
And for those in work, real pay - that is the value of a worker’s pay packet in terms of the goods and services it can buy - has been growing. 

More people find jobs with an employer

Data released recently shows, positively, that the number of people in work has continued to rise. 

  • The number of people in employment increased by 103,000 in the final three months of 2014. There are now 30.9 million people in work. 
  • As we reported last month, this rise was less substantial than improvements seen earlier in 2014. However, this is not surprising given that the employment rate has just about reached its pre-crisis level (60.3% in the three months to March 2008).

It’s the fact that more people have been finding work with an employer that has driven the rise in employment.

  • In the three months to December, the number of employees rose by 154,000. 
  • Encouragingly, businesses were able to offer the vast majority of these employees (87%) full-time positions. 

As we have seen in recent updates, the increase in employees was more than enough to offset the fall in the number of people working for themselves.

  • The number of people that were self-employed fell by 19,000 in the three months to December 2014.
  • This was wholly driven by a decline in the number of self-employed people working full-time (-53,000) and offset a rise in the number of self-employed part-time workers (+33,000). 
Source: ONS 2015, February labour market statistics, October to December 2014 data; claimant count data January 2015 *Aged 16 and over
Headline figures Rate Number (000s) Change on quarter in 000s 
(% change)
Change on year in 000s 
(% change)
Employment* (ILO) 59.7% 30,896 103 (0.3%) 608 (2.0%)
Unemployment (ILO) 5.7% 1,862 -97 (-5.0%) -486 (-20.7%)
Youth unemployment (16-24) 16.2% 740 3 (0.4%) -188 (-20.3%)
Claimant count 2.5% 823.0 -38.6 (-4.5%) (change on Dec) -383.5 (-31.8%)

 

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