Employment Figures Announced

Official labour market data is in for Q1 2013…

Employment fell by 43,000 in the three months to March, according to figures in today from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Unemployment is up by 15,000 in the same period.

Overall the jobless rate is up by 0.1 percentage points and now stands at 7.8% up from 7.7% in Q4 of 2012.

UK unemployment now stands at 2.52 million.

Inflation remains above the Treasury’s target figure of 2% at 2.8% but the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has said that he expects UK economic growth to be higher than expected this year and for inflation to fall faster than anticipated.

Whilst inflation remained "stubbornly high" pay rises had not risen anywhere near in line with inflation, creeping up by just 0.4% according to the ONS.

Neil Carberry, Director for Employment & Skills at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said of the latest unemployment figures:

"Given the challenging economic conditions at the end of last year, it’s unsurprising that we’re now seeing fewer people in work."

Carberry mirrored Sir Mervyn King’s view, adding:

“What’s encouraging, however, is that economic conditions seem to be improving and that full time jobs are still being created."

"With these figures showing the highest number of vacancies since 2008, this reflects businesses’ more positive view of the year ahead."

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has blamed the stalling wage growth for what it calls a "battleground" for jobseekers.

Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, commented:

"With 5 unemployed people for every vacancy registered with Jobcentre Plus, there are twice as many unemployed people chasing vacancies as before the recession."

However, focusing on youth unemployment, Davies added:

"Although youth unemployment has fallen slightly – the one bright spot in today’s figures – CIPD figures still show more than forty applicants typically chasing every low-skilled job."

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