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Ian Brinkley

Comment on the latest ONS labour market statistics

Authors: Ian Brinkley Nasreen Memon

16 February 2011

For immediate release: 16 February 2011 

Commenting on today’s labour market statistics, Ian Brinkley, director of socio-economic programmes at The Work Foundation said:

'This mini-recession in the labour market as a whole is turning into a major crisis for young people.

For example, over the latest quarter, total employment for those under 25 went down by over 90,000 while employment for those over 25 went up very slightly by 25,000. Unemployment for those under 25 went up by 66,000 while unemployment for those over 25 went down by 22,000.

Young people’s employment will not recover significantly until employers start hiring them again in significant numbers and that depends on the overall state of the economy. But in the meantime, the government needs to look again at levels of support for young people through temporary employment programmes and encouraging more apprenticeships and paid intern placements.

The other major casualty of the contraction in the labour market has been women, almost certainly reflecting mounting job losses in the public sector and non-public providers of public services.

The only crumb of comfort is that the levels of full-time employment have stabilised, with more jobs for full-time employees offset by falls in full-time employment for the self-employed. However, we will not be on the road to overall labour market recovery until we start to see full time jobs increase on a significant and sustained basis.'


Notes to editors

1. All UK figures, seasonally adjusted, comparing the three months October to December 2010 with the previous three months. Employment and unemployment are International Labour Organisation definitions. Unemployment is defined as all those who looked for work in last four weeks and able to start a job in two weeks’ time.

2. Ian Brinkley is available for interviews and briefings.

3. The Work Foundation is the leading independent authority on work and its future. It aims to improve the quality of working life and the effectiveness of organisations by equipping leaders, policymakers and opinion-formers with evidence, advice, new thinking and networks. In October 2010, Lancaster University acquired The Work Foundation, forming a new alliance that will enable both organisations to further enhance their impact.

Media enquiries:

Tom Phillips 0207 976 3554

Nasreen Memon 020 7976 3507 or 07825 527 036