By Jonathan London on 17th September 2015

New government figures ‘indicate stabilisation in labour market conditions’

The UK jobs market may be stabilising following the considerable growth seen in recent months, new government figures have suggested.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show there were 31.09 million people in work during the May to July period – 42,000 more than for February to April 2015, and 413,000 more than at the same point a year ago.

This comprised of 22.74 million people working full-time – 361,000 more than for a year earlier  – and 8.36 million people working part-time, up by 52,000 year on year. Meanwhile, the employment rate stood at 73.5 per cent, with the unemployment rate at 5.5 per cent – both roughly unchanged compared to the February to April period, but improved compared to a year ago.

Commenting on the latest statistics, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) noted that the numbers show a drop in unemployment back towards the low point seen three months ago.

However, Mark Beatson, chief economist at the CIPD, said the main takeaway is that overall levels of employment and unemployment have changed very little in the last six months, with numbers of self-employed and those in temporary jobs seemingly having peaked.

This stands in contrast to a long recent period of sustained employment growth and falling unemployment, and suggests the jobs market is entering a more stable phase.

Mr Beatson said: “As the economy was still growing strongly in the second quarter of 2015, stable employment levels suggest that productivity has been growing. If this is the case, it helps to make average earnings growth sustainable.

“The latest figures have been boosted by earnings in construction and by bonuses, especially in financial services, both consistent with a growing economy.”

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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