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Category Archives: labour markets

Emerging economies have seen an improvement in economic growth, but has this led to an improvement in the jobs market?

Emerging markets are generally considered to be middle-income countries that have been growing or are currently growing and developing quite rapidly. These economies have just been analysed in a new book published by the International Labour Organisation entitled: “The labour markets of emerging economies: Has growth translated into more and better jobs.” Basically the book suggests that benefits to workers … Continue reading

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Big divergence in labour costs within the EU

The average hourly labour costs were estimated to be €23.1 in the EU27 business economy in 2011, and €27.6 in the euro area (EA17), according to statistics just published by eurostat. However, this average masks significant differences between Member States, with hourly labour costs ranging from €3.5 to €39.3. Labour costs are made up of costs for wages and salaries, … Continue reading

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Increasing pay gap between public and private sector workers

A study just published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that in April 2011 the average worker in the public sector received 8.2% more in hourly pay than an average worker in the private sector. This compares with differences of 7.8% in 2010 and only 5.3% in 2009. Why is the gap getting wider? Many would argue that … Continue reading

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Is it right to raise the minimum wage in the current climate?

The government has acted on the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission, which is an independent body, to raise the minimum wage for adults by 2.5% to £6.08 per hour. This rise will take place in October. The minimum wage for those aged 18 to 20 will go up by 6p to £4.98 per hour, and the rate for 16-17 … Continue reading

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Some mixed news on the jobs front

A report just published by accountants KPMG shows that the demand for permanent workers has increased at the fastest rate since June 2010. The Permanent Staff Vacancies Index climbed from 55.3 to 58.4, where a reading above 50 shows a higher number of placements than the previous month. Bernard Brown, Partner and Head of Business Services at KPMG said: “The … Continue reading

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Small drop in unemployment

In the three months to September, the total number of people unemployed fell by 9,000 to reach 2.45 million. This gave an unemployment rate of 7.1% which was 0.1% down on the quarter. The picture is similar when we look at those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (also called the claimant count), with a fall of 3,700 between September and October, to … Continue reading

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So where are we now?

The dust has started to settle after the draconian cuts put forward by the Chancellor, George Osborne, last week, as he put forward plans to cut government spending by £81 billion over the next four years. Was he right to make cuts of this magnitude? The UK borrowing figures last week might suggest that he was. The figures show that … Continue reading

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Work till you drop

The government has just started a consultation process with the view of scrapping the fixed retirement age from October 2011. This would mean that employers would no longer be able to ‘force’ workers to retire at age 65, as they can, and usually do, at the moment. The bad news is that you have to have a job in the … Continue reading

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Tighter labour market leads to fall in “sickies”

Employees took an average of 6.4 days off in 2009 as a result of sickness, which is the lowest level since 1987, when the average was 8.2 days. This is according to the CBI/Pfizer Absence and Workplace Health Survey, which also estimated that sick leave cost the economy £16.8bn. The reason for this was undoubtedly due to the tightness of … Continue reading

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Unemployment reaches 2.5 million

The latest unemployment figures take a bit of unravelling. The headline figure for the three months to February, using the Labour Force Survey measure, was up by 43,000 over the quarter to reach 2.5m. This is the highest figure since 1994. This gave an unemployment rate of 8.0% which was up 0.1% on the previous quarter. This is bad news. … Continue reading

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