Unemployment down but unions warn of trouble ahead
Email a Friend
UK unemployment has fallen to 8 per cent for the three months to June, as 201,000 people joined the jobs market.
Findings from the Office for National Statistics show that there are now 2.56 million people unemployed, the lowest in nearly a year, and down by 46,000 on the opening quarter of the year.
Of the 201,000 taking on jobs, 130,000 are now in full-time employment. Despite fears that the temporary Olympic staffing would affect figures, only 16,000 are noted as temporary workers.
The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 now stands at 71 per cent, up by 0.4 per cent on the quarter. The inactivity rate for those in the same bracket is down by 0.3 per cent to 22.6 per cent over the same period.
Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith says the figures are 'positive and encouraging' and demonstrate the strength of the private sector.
He adds, 'Our private sector, notwithstanding the difficult economic times, is still creating jobs, the vast majority of which are full time. Unemployment is falling and the claimant count is down.'
Despite the number of people in work increasing, Paul Kenny, general secretary for trade union body GMB, says that the figures show the level of 'despair and waste of human talent' in the economy,
He adds, 'Cameron and Clegg should now conclude that Osborne is simply not up to the job of steering our economy and he should be moved to make way for a change of direction as he has proved beyond doubt that it is not possible to deflate your way to growth.'
Kenny believes that the corporate sector has a responsibility to revive the economy be investing the 'billions in cash' it has to pay a living wages to staff.
The sentiments of Kenny are echoed by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber. He says, 'Today's fall in unemployment is welcome, but there are worrying trends brewing and with the economy getting smaller it may only be a matter of time before the dole queues start rising again.'
Barber points to the finding that the number of people under 25 who are neither working or in full-time education has risen again to 1.5 million as a 'struggle'.