Employment hits record high

17 October 2012

UK employment is at a record high thanks to a drop in the number of out-of-work Britons.

The unemployment rate for June to August fell to 7.9%, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), down from 8.1% between March and May.

There were 29.59 million people in employment during the June to August period, up 212,000 on the previous quarter and up 510,000 year-on-year.

However, while David Cameron may have cause for celebration, the overall employment figures owe much to a boost in part-time work over the period. Some 724,000 of the new jobs came in the form of part-time work, taking the total number of part-time workers to nearly 1.4 million workers – close to the all-time high.

Similarly, the improvement in the number of young people finding jobs by 62,000 has been muted by the still high youth unemployment rate of 20.5%.

Positive growth

David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "The latest job market figures are encouraging and support our assessment that the UK economy has returned to positive growth in the third quarter of 2012.

"Despite the positive job figures there are still some areas of concern, particularly the further increases in the number of people that have been unemployed for more than a year, and for more than two years."

The number of people who have been unemployed for over a year rose by 13,000 to 897,000. There are also now a further 1,000 people who have been unemployed for over two years taking that total to 444,000.


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