Government figures showing a rise in UK total employment may not be as positive as they look at first glance, an economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has claimed.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics show that 216,000 more people are in employment than in the same period of 2005, while earnings rose on average 3.8 per cent in the year to October.
CIPD chief economist Dr John Philpott claimed, however, that the rise in employment was entirely due to more people in self-employment rather than firms taking on more staff.
The number of full-time employees in fact fell by 123,000 between August and October, he said, with the number of female full-time employees down by 73,000.
At the same time, the number of economically jobless people who say that they want a job but are not recorded as unemployed rose by 41,000, Dr Philpott said, dwarfing the 7,000 fall in measured unemployment.
"With the level of job vacancies also falling, this suggests that the good news on unemployment should not be read as a sign of a significant pick-up in demand for staff," he said.