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Career Advice

How healthy is the UK jobs market?

A brief overview of employment in the UK

Has the Olympics made a difference to employment statistics in the UK? What is the current status of the recession? Will it be easier for those of us seeking work to find satisfying employment? What about the kind of jobs on offer on the country’s most popular sites, such as reed.co.uk?

Many UK citizens have a similar barrage of questions when it comes to the economy and their future employment. The confirmation of a double dip recession this spring has only reinforced a growing caution and mistrust in the stability of a once booming economy.

And figures released earlier in the month paint a series of contrasting pictures. Just over three months ago (one quarter in financial year terms), the Business section of the Telegraph published an article based on findings by the Centre for Economics and Business Research which warned that the UK could expect another 5 years at least of gloomy jobs market statistics.

The think tank’s work noted that this would largely affect the North of England, with the South, South-East and London remaining largely unaffected. It seems to chime with an economy whose gross domestic product was shown to have contracted for the third straight quarter, in the three months leading up to June.

Fast forward three months, however, and here we are at the end of August. A few things have changed – unemployment is down and employment is up, with nearly 30 million UK citizens employed.

The economist and analysts – and regular people hoping for jobs – are confused. Is this a temporary blip caused by the Olympics? Or is it, as Iain Duncan-Smith claims, the result of more permanent jobs being created and won up and down the country?

According to the Wall Street Journal, opinion is divided over whether August has simply been an anomalous bright month, a distraction, whose more positive figures look set to all but disappear once September and October come around.

One thing is for sure; the fears of a growing North-South divide are not unfounded, and it remains crucial for new businesses to pump money into the cheaper rents and large workforces up north, many of whom are suffering from the devastating public sector jobs cuts.


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