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Fall in unemployment welcome but more still needs to be done to create enough jobs

“The fall in official unemployment from 6.0 to 5.3 percent is welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg, “but the unfortunate fact is that the economy is still not creating enough jobs to match the increase in the working age population, which is swollen by the highest annual net immigration in 25 years. The Government is not doing enough to create jobs or to support business to create jobs.”

“Joblessness, a wider measure of people unable to find work, has risen over the year from 257,600 to 259,400.  Even at 5.3 percent or 133,000 people, unemployment is far too high for an economy that has been growing strongly for several years,” Rosenberg said.

The working age population grew by 2.3 percent in the year, but employment grew only 1.4 percent. Over half the increase in employment this quarter was in part-time work.

Rosenberg pointed out that wage increases are continuing to weaken with the Labour Cost index rising only 1.5 percent in the last year, with almost half – 49 percent – of private sector employees getting no increase in the past year. Including the public sector, 46 percent of employees got not increase in the year.