Private sector jobs growth offsetting public sector losses
Wed, 20 Jun 2012
The number of people employed in the UK’s private sector rose by 205,000 in the three months from February to April – more than enough to offset a net 39,000 public sector job losses and ensure the unemployment rate fell.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today also shows total pay (including bonuses) rose by 1.4% on a year earlier, while regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.8% on a year earlier.
Chris Short, a director of UK-wide recruitment firm Concept Resourcing, asks: "Is the private sector finally taking up the public sector slack?”
He also notes: "Companies have become increasingly philosophical in the current climate. Directors are accepting that life has to go on and that they need to take on the risk of new hires if they are going to grow. It's hire and grow or tread water and potentially be dragged down. Britain's businesses are increasingly choosing to hire.”
The UK unemployment rate was 8.2% in the period from February to April 2012, down 0.2% on the quarter, with the number of unemployed people falling by 51,000 to 2.61m, and the number of people in work rising by 166,000 to 29.28m
Andrew Sissons, a researcher at The Work Foundation, comments that the “good news” should be welcomed, but adds that “it is difficult to reconcile these numbers with the ongoing problems in the economy”.
He suggests three possible explanations for the trend – that it is a temporary blip, that GDP figures have been underestimated, or that “third, and perhaps most worrying, it is possible that we are seeing a transition to a lower wage economy, in which jobs bounce back, but at a lower level of pay and productivity”.