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Jobs Boom Reshapes UK Labour Market

26 Nov 2012


Immigration News

 

Professionals, technicians and managers are leading a jobs boom that is defying economic gravity and reshaping Britain’s labour market, Financial Times research has found.

Jobs are being created at the top and bottom of the skills scale, while those in the middle tier – including office administrators and blue-collar process operators – are losing out.

The trend is intensifying growth of the “hourglass economy”, where high- and low-skilled jobs are increasing but technology is eliminating many in the middle that require intermediate skills.

Net employment has grown more than 750,000 since a low point in early 2010, according to an FT analysis of official data – astonishing many economists at a time when Britain has supposedly been through a double-dip recession.

The private sector has created about 1.2m jobs in that time, more than offsetting the 460,000 lost in the public sector as a result of austerity measures.

The pace of growth may be starting to slacken, but in a series this week we will report on the ways in which Britain’s workforce is being reshaped.

The jobs boom carries a high price for many. Wages have been squeezed and there is a rise in part-time and temporary work and self-employment, much of it not by choice. Productivity has fallen, creating fears about the economy’s potential for growthl.

Employment in professional occupations – which include lawyers, accountants and management consultants – has grown more than 230,000, or 4.4 per cent, since early 2010, the fastest increase of any group.

The second fastest rise has been in associate professional and technical occupations, which range from engineering technicians and IT support staff to financial advisers, graphic designers and sports coaches. Managers have also grown in number.

The sharpest decline, of 160,000 or 4.8 per cent, has been among administrative and secretarial staff. Process, plant and machine operators are fewer, as are skilled trades, which include electricians and machine fitters.

But at the bottom end, elementary occupations – a category that includes waiters, bar staff, kitchen assistants, security guards and cleaners – are up 2.5 per cent.

Eastern England and London have shown the fastest rate of job creation, according to the FT’s analysis, while northwest England, Scotland and the east Midlands have had the slowest. But it is not a simple north-south divide, and Wales and Northern Ireland have also enjoyed above-average increases.

Among local authority areas, Weymouth and Portland, in Dorset, has achieved an increase of almost 18 per cent, the biggest in the country, followed by Rossendale in Lancashire, Spelthorne in Surrey and Harborough in Leicestershire.

Men account for two-thirds of all the net new employment created since early 2010, a reversal of the recession period, when men bore the brunt of job losses.

Employment has grown fastest among over-65s, followed by those aged 25-34. Youth employment is down but has started recovering.

Just over half of the new employment is part-time and a fifth is temporary. More than 260,000 of the new workers are self-employed; taking the total to a near-record 4.2m but three-quarters of this increase has also been part time.

Source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c2be53e4-3415-11e2-9ae7-00144feabdc0.html?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fworld_uk_business%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct#axzz2DIbI3672


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