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Job numbers defying financial climate

Filed under: Business Continuity — Jonathan on September 24, 2012

Employment numbers increased by an impressive 236,000 during the three months prior to July, taking the figure to 29,560,000 – the highest since March to May of 2008. This reveals that the number of people in employment has virtually been restored to a previous peak, although the output has fallen 4.2 per cent since early in 2008. That would ordinarily have resulted in a sharp fall in employment. This can only be good news for prospective employees of IT security sales jobs, business continuity vacancies and other positions.

Three possible reasons have been proposed by economists: output is performing better than shown by the national accounts data, the labour market is not performing as well as it appears to or there has been a significant fall in production. Economists also pointed out that a combination of all three is possible.

Output data has a tendency to be revised more heavily than employment, leading some to believe that there hasn’t really been a double-dip recession in the UK for the last three quarters.

Others believe the labour market to be weak due to the increase in employment being led by self-employment, temporary jobs and part-time work.

HSBC’s John Zhu focused his reasoning on workforce jobs data, which he says is a slowing down of momentum when it comes to jobs being created. This is a different survey from the Labour Force Survey’s employment data. According to the measure from the former, 93,000 jobs were created by the economy in the quarter leading up to June – a 314,000 increase in the three months prior to March.

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