Official statistics confirm jobs woe

Posted on 17 Dec 2008 by The Manufacturer

The latest official UK employment statistics make grim reading overall but sees manufacturing bearing up slightly better than other sectors.

There were 2.83 million UK jobs in manufacturing industries in quarter three – a figure that represents 73,000 less than a year before. Finance and business services workers were hit harder though, registering a 72,000 drop on the quarter before. Jobs in mining, energy and water supply industries were slightly up.

Unemployment overall reached 1.86 million in the three months to October which is 137,000 more than at the end of quarter two and constitutes a six per cent proportion of people of a working age. Dole figures for November are at 1.07 million; 75,700 more than in October.

In terms of earnings, wages in the manufacturing industry excluding bonuses were up 2.3 per cent for the year though this represents a slowdown in growth of 0.2 per cent. Including bonuses, wages increased by 2.9 per cent which is the same as the year before. For all workers overall, average wages increased 3.6 per cent including bonuses and 3.3 per cent excluding. These figures are both unchanged on the previous year.

Barclays group chief executive John Varley warned on Monday that unemployment could reach seven-and-a-half per cent over the next year.

“I think an additional 700,000 people unemployed over the course of the next 12 months is certainly possible to contemplate,” he said.