Another milestone has been reached in the recovery: 73.6pc of working-aged British people are now in employment (see above) – the highest in recorded history. And, needless to say, the highest of any country in Europe. What kind of jobs? Mainly full-time employees (up 2.1pc) not self-employment (down 0.6pc). The total number of hours worked is also up, and Britain is working almost a billion hours a week.
Unemployment is down, and as Michael Saunders from Citi notes (pdf):-
The drop has been concentrated in the long-term jobless rate (ie the share of the workforce who have been out of work for more than 12 months), which has dropped from 2.2% a year ago to 1.6% now, with a slight drop in the number of people out of work for 6-12 months and a slight rise in the number of people unemployed for less than 6 months. The UK’s improved ability to get the long-term unemployed into work probably is helping to reduce hysteresis effects and hence to cut the structural jobless rate.
When you cut taxes for employers, and tax rates for employees, its amazing what you can do. Where George Osborne has been bold, he has been amply rewarded: this should, hopefully, inform his thinking ahead of next month’s Spending Review.