Recently, we’ve been used to the economic figures being either bad news or mixed news. So today’s employment stats
come as a welcome surprise: it’s almost all good news. They show that total employment rose by 212,000 from March-May to June-August, and now stands at 29.59 million — a record high, 18,000 above the pre-recession peak of April 2008. Since the election, a net of 616,000 jobs have been created.
And unemployment is down too — by 50,000 on the previous three months, defying expectations. That means the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 per cent, the first time it’s been below 8 per cent in over a year.
And youth unemployment has actually fallen further than overall unemployment — by 62,000 — and is now below the one million mark for the first time since this time last year.
Of course, 2.5 million unemployed including 957,000 young people is nothing to shout about. But today’s figures show that things have recently been moving in the right direction.