Unemployment figures 'reflect recovering jobs market'


Official figures showing a rising trend in British unemployment levels actually reflect a recovering jobs market with more people in full-time work, a leading professional institute has claimed.

The employment figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) for June revealed a 0.3 per cent rise in the percentage of jobless people in Britain to 5.5 per cent.

However, the figures reflect an increased demand for labour after a lull at the end of 2005, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

A fall in the number of jobs going to temporary employees and the self-employed indicates that employers are becoming increasingly confident and are hiring full-time staff rather than relying on contract workers, the institute claims.

"The ONS figures showing rising job vacancies and fewer redundancies are consistent with the latest CIPD/KMPG Labour Market Outlook survey findings," said CIPD chief economist, Dr John Philpott.

"However, as the CIPD/KPMG survey shows the improvement in demand for labour is confined to the private sector and stronger in the south rather than the north of the UK."

The CIPD's Labour Market Outlook survey also found that a strong growth in labour supply driven by immigration and jobless people being helped into work was keeping the lid on pay rises overall, although pay increases still looked sustainable in the private sector.

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