CIPD Update: No cheer in festive season unemployment figures with private sector jobs growth almost at a standstill

  14th December 2011      
 CIPD, Company News, Employment

Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) comments as follows on official labour market statistics for the period August-October 2011 published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

“These pre-festive season jobs figures are so bad even Santa’s elves will be feeling insecure. The quarterly rise of 128,000 in unemployment is itself enough to dampen the spirits but what’s worse is news that private sector job growth is almost at a standstill while public sector employment is falling at twice the rate projected by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

“In the year to September, the fall in the number of people working in the public sector (excluding the nationalised financial institutions) was slightly greater (-266,000) than the corresponding increase in private sector employment (+262,000). The hope that private sector job creation would offset large scale public sector job cuts even in the short-run has proved false and unemployment will continue to climb throughout 2012 regardless of what happens in the eurozone.

“The latest figures continue the pattern seen throughout 2011 with the jobs situation deteriorating for both sexes but men doing worse than women. This is somewhat surprising given the relatively high proportion of women working in the public sector, though the puzzle becomes a little easier to understand with new data showing that employment is falling sharply again in manufacturing and construction, sectors where most workers are men. If the white collar jobs recession in the public sector is hitting women relatively hard, another blue collar jobs recession in the private sector is making life just as tough for men.”

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