Falling for the fifth month in a row, overall unemployment in the UK now stands at 2.47 million. However, the number of part time workers increased to 7.82 million, the highest level since records for this statistic began in 1992.
This number keeps rising because people now are either choosing part time work, just taking part time work, or because they have cut the number of days they work. These numbers suggest that the effects of the recession, viewed by many as being over, will be felt for many months to come.
Economists say, the overall figure staying below 2.5 million is encouraging, but worries about the future of the jobs market abound.
Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “The increase in part time workers could well be evidence that many companies are needing to add to their staff but are reluctant to take on full time workers given the still uncertain outlook.”
Recruitment companies noticed many people taking on part time jobs although they preferred full time jobs. They also found many people taking jobs of which they were over qualified.
John Philpott, the chief economic adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said: “A big public sector jobs squeeze already under way and the pace of economic recovery uncertain, things may look a lot less rosy by spring 2011 than they do at present. Today’s good news may simply be the calm before the storm.”
Economists are still fearful that when the Government starts to cut public jobs, unemployment could creep up towards 3 million again.
For the second month in a row public sector job numbers decreased and experts have expressed concern about the small number of available jobs in that sector.
Overall, the private sector of employment is very tight now and will hardly be able to offset any large scale public sector job losses in the near future.