UK unemployment falls again as jobs market defies the slump
The labour market continued to defy gravity in the final three months of 2012, with employment rising and the jobless rate falling despite a decline in output over the same period, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The number of people in employment rose by 154,000 between September and December on the previous three months, with the work force hitting 29.73 million.
The number of unemployed people also fell by 14,000 quarter on quarter, taking the unemployment rate down to 7.8 per cent.
In addition, there were some signs of an improvement in the quality of the jobs being created. The number of people in full-time positions rose by 197,000, while the numbers in part-time work fell 43,000. There was also a decline in the number who said they were working part time because they could not find a full-time post.
The ONS reported last month that Britain's gross domestic product contracted by 0.3 per cent over the period. The divergence between weak output figures and robust job creation data has led to rising concerns about a collapse in the productivity of British workers with some economists warning that this bodes badly for the UK's future growth potential.
The official data also showed that workers continue to be squeezed by rises in the cost of living.
Pay, excluding bonuses, rose by 1.3 per cent in the quarter on the same period of 2011, well below the 2.7 per cent annual rate of consumer prices inflation.
"The UK jobs market continues to astound," said John Philpott, director of the Jobs Economist.
He added: "We are in a middle of both a jobs boom and a pay slump as jobseekers struggle to gain or retain employment in a stagnant economy by pricing themselves into work.
"This is unlike anything seen in this country since the Second World War, with the economy using more and more people at falling real rates of pay to produce a static level of output".
The number claiming dole fell by 12,500 in January from the previous month. However, there was some more disappointing news on youth unemployment. Those aged between 16 and 24 out of work rose to 974,000, up 17,000 on the three months to November.
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
- 5 Doctors declare war on Jeremy Hunt over weekend working 'myths' amid plan for seven day NHS
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Jack the Ripper's final victim set to be exhumed following new theory on the killer's identity
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£13000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about custom...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Main purpose: Under the directi...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Contracts Manager - City...