Labour market stalls despite positive growth figures

By Anita Jaynes on 12 August, 2015

Today, Wednesday August 12, 2015 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released the Labour Market Statistics for the three months ending June 2015.

Key findings include:
· Unemployment in the South West increased by 5,000 to 4.4%. This has risen 0.1 % on the quarter but is down 0.8% compared to this time last year.

·Total UK unemployment increased by 25,000 and stands at 5.6%.

·The youth unemployment rate increased slightly to 16.0%. This is down from 16.9% this time last year but remains way above average unemployment and pre-recession levels.

Commenting on the labour market statistics, Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, said:

“The news coming out of the labour market today has put a dampener on encouraging growth figures. Two weeks ago we saw a spring surge in GDP growth that fuelled calls for earlier interest rate rises amongst a few but a slight rise in unemployment reminds us that growth remains fragile.

“For quite some time, unemployment has been on a downward trend but today we see increases both locally and nationally. While it may be too early to conclude that the jobs market is levelling off, this quarter’s stall has at least raised the question. Another alarming statistic is that youth unemployment saw a slight increase and remains way above average unemployment and pre-recession levels, showing that more needs to be done to bridge the gap between education and business.

“It isn’t all bad news as the picture has improved notably since this time last year, but today’s data is a timely reminder that it isn’t all plain sailing. Across the board there are still fundamental weaknesses to be tackled before long term growth can be secured, such as the dangerously high youth unemployment that we can see in the figures today.”

Pictured above: Phil Smith, managing director of Business West