Drop in full-time work suggests business confidence still low
“There are very few signs of the job market picking up in the new year, despite hopes that the economy has turned a corner. The economy added just 9,000 new jobs in the last three months, not enough to prevent a further rise in unemployment. We need to be creating tens of thousands of jobs every quarter if unemployment is to begin falling. The private sector has been replacing the jobs lost in the public sector, but the private recovery is nowhere near strong enough.
“The drop in full-time work is particularly worrying. There are nearly 1.4 million people in part-time work who cannot find a full-time job, and this figure is rising rapidly. This suggests that companies are still nervous about taking on full-time staff, and leaves many more people looking for extra work.
“Without a rapid turnaround in the economy, we will see unemployment grow further over the coming months. This unemployment problem will take many years to reverse, and may turn into a long-term structural issue. Stemming the unemployment crisis should the Chancellor’s top priority in the Budget.”