The number of people out of work has fallen by 45,000, to 2.63 million, but collapse in wages is ‘terrible news for people in work’ – TUC
It means the percentage of people out of work is down marginally, to 8.2%.
However, the latest official figures show an increase in employment over the last three months was largely accounted for by a rise in part-time work and people moving from staff jobs to become self-employed.
The numbers of part-time workers, self-employed people and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time work all now stand at their highest rates since comparable records began in 1992.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the total number of people working part-time but would like a full-time job is now at a high of 18%.
Analysts say the trend is accompanied by a collapse in real wages.
The ONS says total pay (including bonuses) rose by 0.6% on a year earlier. This is the lowest growth rate since March-May 2009 and is down 0.5% the three months to February 2012.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:“Today’s figures are mixed, with the welcome fall in unemployment driven entirely by part-time jobs.
“However the collapse in wages is terrible news for people in work and threatens our chances of economic recovery.
“The number of under-employed people, who are taking part-time and temporary jobs for a lack of permanent full-time work, has hit two million for the first time ever.
“The falling number of full-time jobs and six per cent fall in real wages over the last two years means that people are having to make huge salary sacrifices and put their careers on hold just to stay in work.
“People’s incomes and job security today are barely any better than they were at the height of the financial crash.
“Unless governments act together and stop our austerity misery spiral, the UK’s economic depression will continue for far longer than feared.”
The ONS says youth unemployment across the UK has fallen by 17,000 to 1.02million.
Total employment was 29.23m, which is up 105,000 on last month.
the jobless rate in the north-east of England remain the highest in the UK, at 11.5%.
Unemployment rose in the region 6,000 to 148,000 between January and March.
The GMB says today’s figures show the Coalition’s ‘gamble’ with the economy has failed.
Paul Kenny, GMB general secretary said, “Instead of borrowing to support the economy and to continue the recovery, the government has had to borrow to fund the recession.
“We have spent the last two years going backwards and this is why the electorate have voted down this failed policy.”
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