Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Job market relief
Posted by David Smith at 11:00 AM
Category: Thoughts and responses

Given the December snows and signs of a softening of activity at the end of last year the labour market numbers could have been bad. So they come as something of a relief. The claimant count dropped by 4,100, its third successive monthly fall, to stand at 1.46m.

Though the Labour Force Survey measure of unemployment rose by 49,000 over the September-November period to 2.498m, 7.9% of the workforce, the total was fractionally lower than reported a month ago for the August-October period, which is consistent with an unemployment fall in November.

Of course a release like this is also contains a lot of bad news. Average earnings growth of 2.1%, while good news for the Bank of England, underlines the squeeze on real incomes. Retail price inflation is running at 4.8%.

And there are these: "The number of employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 26,000 on the quarter to reach 1.16 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

"The unemployment rate for those aged from 16 to 24 increased by 1.0 on the quarter to reach 20.3 per cent, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

"The number of people who were economically inactive because they had taken retirement before reaching the age of sixty-five increased by 39,000 on the quarter to reach 1.56 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1993."

More here.