Thursday, 15 October 2009

Increase in number of women in work helps curb rise in unemployment

Following the CIPD’s press release “Men not at work - Male employment rate heads toward record low in UK” that was posted on the jml Training blog on the 14th October 09, The CIPD have issued the following press release on the 14th October

Figures published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a smaller than expected rise in unemployment, with the headline survey based measure of joblessness remaining below 2.5 million in the three months ending in August.John Philpott, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), says that this is due to a quarterly increase in part-time employment for women which, although good news, further highlights the degree to which men are being much harder hit than women by the recession, as demonstrated by CIPD analysis earlier this week.

Dr Philpott comments: "The latest official jobless figures show that conditions in the UK labour market continue to weaken, but at a slower pace than earlier in the year. This is consistent with independent employer survey evidence, including the CIPD's, and suggests that the jobless total is now crawling rather than rushing toward a peak of around 3 million in 2010.

"The relative improvement in the labour market is due to a rise in part-time and temporary jobs, with employers who need to recruit remaining wary of hiring full-time staff given uncertainty over the strength of economic recovery. Women are the main beneficiaries of a labour market where part-time work is rising while full-time jobs continue to be cut. This explains why the CIPD expects the rate of male unemployment to rise well above 10% in 2010, with the proportion of men in work set to fall to a record low."The shift from full-time jobs for men to part-time jobs for women has also resulted in a further sharp quarterly fall in the total number of hours being worked in the economy. This is a better indicator than headline employment and unemployment of the underlying toll the recession is continuing to take on the labour market. When combined with figures also released today showing a further slowdown in growth in average earnings - especially in the private sector - the fall in hours suggests that working people who manage to stay in work are nonetheless experiencing a big squeeze on their earned income."

Source: CIPD

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