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ONS Labour market report reveals steady increase in UK employment figures

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), the recognised national statistical institute for the UK, released its UK Labour Market, August 2014 report on Wednesday, which indicates that employment in the UK continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall from April to June this year.

This report compares labour market estimates for the three months to June 2014 with the first quarter of 2014. It shows that the upward movement in UK employment has continued over the last two years.

According to the ONS survey, there were 30.60 million people in work during the quarter April to June 2014, a rise of 167,000 compared to January to March 2014 and 820,000 more than in the same period of 2013.

There was a higher proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work, compared to the previous quarter and a year earlier, with the employment rate recorded at 73.0%.

Unemployed people in the UK numbered 2.08 million from April to June 2014, with 132,000 fewer unemployed people compared to January to March 2014. Compared to the same period of 2014, there were 437,000 fewer people without a job.

The unemployment rate in the UKs economically active population is the lowest since late 2008 and fell to 6.4% for April to June 2014. The economically active population includes people in work plus those seeking and available to work who were unemployed.

According to ONS figures, 8.86 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 were out of work and not seeking or available in the three months to June this year. This was an increase of 15,000 compared to January to March 2014; however there were 130,000 fewer economically inactive in that age group in comparison to the same quarter of 2013.

An economic inactivity rate of 21.9% was unchanged compared with January to March 2014; however the inactivity rate has shown a generally downward path since late 2011.

With bonuses included, UK workers were paid an average of 0.2% less than last year, this was said to be mainly due to some employers paying bonuses in April last year, rather than March, because of an unusually high growth rate for April 2013. Excluding bonuses, pay for UK employees rose by 0.6% over the year before.

Business organisation, the Confederation of British Industry CBI, said that despite the upbeat figures, there are still too many young British people out of work.

CBI director-general, John Cridland, commented: “It’s encouraging to see the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest since 2008 with far more opportunities being created for young people.

“While disappointing this month, we would expect wage growth to pick up over time, but this can only go hand-in-hand with improving productivity.”


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