Unexpectedly good numbers, but tough times ahead
Authors: Charles Levy
23 January 2013
Commenting on today’s labour market statistics, Charles Levy, senior economist at The Work Foundation, said:
“Today’s data shows that by the end of 2012 the labour market was performing better than many had expected.
“If we compare statistics from September to November with figures from the last three months, employment increased by 90,000, taking the total number of new jobs created in the previous 12 months to 550,000. Unemployment also eased by 37,000 in the last three months, and fell by 185,000 over the year. Encouragingly, the numbers show our economy creating full-time employment, which increased by 82,000 in three months. This reverses the switch to self-employment and part-time work seen throughout the recession.
“However, there are reasons to think that this recovery may not last. Despite the stellar performance of the labour market, 2012 saw very little economic growth. The signs are that at the end of the year our economy may have been contracting. The poor performance of the retail sector in the run up to Christmas and the closure of a number of retail chains in the past few weeks are also likely to compound the situation. In these conditions, it is very hard to imagine how the labour market can continue to improve at this pace.”
Notes to editors
1. Ian Brinkley is available for interviews, briefings and written comment.
2. The Work Foundation aims to be the leading independent, international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society. The Work Foundation is part of Lancaster University – an alliance that enables both organisations to further enhance their impact.
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