Commenting on the ONS Labour Market statistics released today, Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), comments: “The labour market continues to defy the laws of economic gravity, with employment up and unemployment down, despite stalling growth forecasts and stuttering confidence. The downside is that, for now, we have a seemingly entrenched pattern of falling productivity and subdued pay affecting the competitiveness of employers and the living standards of employees. The employment picture is encouraging, but the missing ingredient is economic growth – without which the risk remains that another shock of any kind may send our surprisingly resilient labour market into reverse.
“The most positive aspect about today’s figures is that, while part-time employment continues to rise, the bulk of the growth in employment is full-time. The most worrying aspect of today’s figures is the rise in long-term unemployment. This puts the spotlight on the Government’s Work Programme, which is tasked with getting the most disadvantaged in the labour market into sustainable employment.”