UK sees further employment growth

Published on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 12:43
Written by Govtoday staff

The number of people in work has risen by 378,000 over the last year to a record breaking 29.95 million according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics this morning.

UK nationals accounted for over 90% of the annual rise in employment, which was also dominated by more people in full-time, permanent, jobs.

Today's figures also show a significant rise in the number of young people in work – up 50,000 over the last 3 months.

This employment growth was accompanied by a fall of 48,000 in the number of unemployed people over the last year.

There was also a fall in long term unemployment: 19,000 over the last 3 months.

Today's figures also revealed that over the last year the UK has seen the largest annual fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in more than 15 years.

The number of young people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance also fell – by 13,100 – the 17th consecutive monthly fall.

Minister for Employment Esther McVey said:

"This government is delivering on its promise to rebalance the economy, promote job creation, and support people to get off benefits and into work.

"Today's figures show that the number of people in work has risen by more than a million under this government, with the growth driven by full-time private sector jobs.

"At the same time, the number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by almost half a million. There's more work to do, and we are not complacent, but these are all very positive signs."

Today's figures also show that there are over half a million vacancies currently available in the UK economy - 62,000 more than a year ago.

Labour Party response:

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, responding to today's Labour Market Statistics, said:

"Today's fall in unemployment is welcome, but families facing a cost-of-living crisis need a recovery that benefits them, and these figures show we are still far from achieving that.

"Prices have now risen much faster than wages for 40 of the 41 months since David Cameron became Prime Minister. On average working people are now over £1,600 a year worse off under this out-of-touch Government.

"The employment figures give no cause for complacency. The number of people who want to work full-time but are stuck on part-time hours is at a record high. And youth unemployment is still at unacceptable and unaffordable levels with almost a million young people still out of work, while the number of young people unemployed for a year or more has gone up by 7,000 this quarter.

"The Tory-led Government's Work Programme and Youth Contract are failing – they should adopt Labour's compulsory jobs guarantee, funded by repeating the tax on bank bonuses, and limiting pension tax relief for the very highest earners. This would guarantee real paid work for young people unemployed for a year, or adults unemployed for two years – work they would have to take or lose benefits."

TUC response:

Commenting on the latest employment figures published today by the Office for National Statistics, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said:

"Britain's workforce is getting larger but poorer.

"It is encouraging that more jobs are being created but job quality is falling and close to a 20-year low. A record number of people are stuck in part-time jobs because they can't find full-time work, while real wages continue to shrink fast despite falling inflation.

"We need better jobs and healthier pay rises to tackle to the living standards crisis and ensure that the full benefits of recovery reach working people."

According to the TUC's jobs quality index launched this morning, job quality has fallen again and is close to its lowest point in the last 20-years.

Sources: DWP, Labour Party, TUC

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