Still confusing outlook to the jobs market

On the positive side, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports that the number of people unemployed fell by 36,000 at the end of March to 2.46 million.

However, this hides huge disparities between different groups, sectors and regions. For instance, unemployment remains high for young people at 20% yet the overall unemployment rate is 7.7%. Unemployment is going up in London and the North East, yet down in the South East. Similarly the CIPD reports that job losses in the public sector are outweighing any gains in the private sector. All in all it looks like 2011 is going to be a year of divergent trends with no clear picture emerging. Let’s hope that as the year progresses that these divergent paths begin to move together in a more positive direction.


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