The Labour Market Statistics for the three months from November last year to January this year have been released by the Office for National Statistics.
The statistics have revealed some positive figures for the three months up to January, with employment rates for 16 to 64 year-olds remaining steady.
The employment rate for those aged 16-64 was 70.3, the same as the employment for the previous three months.
There was some more encouraging news, with 29.1 million people over the age of 16 in employment of some kind – up 9,000 on the previous quarter.
The rates were good news for those struggling to make ends meet in the economic turmoil currently affecting the UK’s economy. But trade unions were less optimistic, saying the figures were misleading.
“The rise in employment is encouraging, but the new jobs being created are mainly part-time. These jobs are not paying enough to replace the full-time earnings that people need,” said Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary.
“The sharp fall in pay increases is also worrying as it will prolong the painful squeeze on family incomes throughout the year,” he added.
There was more bad news for the younger generation, which has been hardest hit by the recession and the turbulent jobs market.
The statistics revealed that there were 3.6 million people in employment of some kind in the three months leading to January.
This figure is down by 32,000 from the three months leading to October last year. The number of economically inactive young people went up by 6,000 to 2.66 million.
“The jobs news gets worse for young people. We cannot afford to see fresh records broken in youth joblessness with such depressing frequency,” added Mr Barber.
“Tackling the jobs crisis should be at the centre of the Chancellor’s Budget next week. Bold new measures such as a youth jobs guarantee and tax breaks for investment are needed to get our economy growing again.”
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Labour market statistics released