Thursday, 19 February 2015

UK labour market update - February 2015




A brief analysis of the ONS Labour Market Statistics published on 18 February

Unemployment
ILO unemployment:                                                  1,862,000
Claimant Count:                                                        843,000

Underemployment
Temporary workers wanting permanent work:        581,000
Part-time workers wanting full-time work:             1,312,000
Economically inactive, wants a job:                        2,282,000

Vacancies:                                                                718,000

Ratios
Unemployed : vacancies                                          2.6:1
Underemployed/unemployed : vacancies                8.4:1              


Commentary
Unemployment has fallen in the last year, but there is considerable underemployment remains, with many people looking for additional work. It is also worth noting that while the labour market figures were broadly positive, for 18-24 year olds unemployment was up 3,000 and employment down 5,000.

While the headline figure of 2.6 people unemployed for every vacancy is low; the number of people actually wanting (more) work is over 8 for every vacancy.

Research also needs to be undertaken into the quality of those vacancies. For example, of the 13,771 vacancies advertised in Merseyside at the end of last year nearly half – 6,600 – were for temporary agency work.

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