Unemployment down, but not for women

Unemployment fell to 7.8 per cent between August and October this year, although the number of women in employment dropped as did the number of people working part-time jobs, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The figures show the employment rate for men was 76.5 per cent for August to October 2012, up 0.2 percentage points from May to July 2012. However, the number of women who are in employment fell by 0.1 per cent to 66.1 per cent.

The number of people in full-time employment was 21.48 million for August to October 2012, up 44,000 from May to July 2012. The number of people in part-time employment was 8.12 million, down 4,000 from May to July 2012.

The number of self-employed people fell by 23,000 to reach 4.20 million. The figures also show that the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 3,000 between October and November 2012 to reach 1.58 million.

Total pay (including bonuses) rose by 1.8 per cent compared with August to October 2011. Regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.7 per cent compared with August to October 2011.

The figures come after the release of report by Manpower which shows the UK’s Employment Outlook now stands at its strongest level since before the recession. It says employers across the UK are looking to take on staff in the first three months of 2013.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,100 UK employers. ManpowerGroup UK Managing Director, Mark Cahill said: “Companies that are doing well are looking to take on staff. A good example of this is in London’s Tech City hub. In 2008 there were a handful of companies operating there. Now well over 3,000 firms have sprung up employing 50,000 people, and still looking to recruit large numbers of staff. However, we should not be under the illusion that we have returned to the boom years of hiring.

“ManpowerGroup’s data shows that the good news this time round is being driven by a relatively small number of businesses looking to expand. We should not get carried away, today’s jobs market lacks the dynamism we saw before 2008, with the vast majority of UK firms continuing to sit on their hands.”

He added that many of the new roles created are temporary or part-time positions. @Whilst workers can expect a lower risk of losing their job, the flipside of this is that there is now a higher risk of having to work reduced hours or seeing a wage cut in real terms. The message to jobseekers is clear: If you want to get ahead in the 2013 jobs market, you need to accept this as the new reality of the jobs market,” he said.

Sectors which are doing well include the Retail, Wholesale, Restaurants and Hotels sector and Finance and Business services, with most optimism among business services firms rather than financial firms.

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