14 Aug 2013

More people in work than ever before as unemployment falls

Latest official job figures have been hailed as good news by government ministers, but unions say ever more people are having to endure reduced pay and insecure contracts.

The number of people out of work has fallen by 4,000 between April and June, to 2.51 million.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: “With 29,000 fewer people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance compared to this time last month, and more people in work than ever before, today’s figures paint a positive picture of the UK labour market.”

But Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, said:

“Today’s small drop in unemployment rates masks the damaging growth of under-employment plaguing the country and stifling economic recovery.

“A toxic combination of part-time, minimum wage, zero-hours working is spreading across the country, as decently paid, full-time opportunities become increasingly rare.

Youth unemployment

The number of unemployed 16-24 year-olds rose by 15,000 to 973,000.

Martina Milburn, chief executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “Rising youth joblessness crushes young ambitions. Our research shows that many young people are expecting nothing but a life on benefits.

“We cannot let a whole generation of young people give up hope for the future.”