UK has a ‘jobs gap' of 158,000

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date: 15 August 2011

embargo: 00.01hrs Tuesday 16 August 2011

The UK has a 'jobs gap' - the number of people currently employed minus employment levels on the eve of the recession in December 2007 - of 158,000, a new TUC analysis shows today (Tuesday) ahead of the latest unemployment figures published by the Office for National Statistics tomorrow.

Employment levels across the UK in April 2011 (the latest available figures) are down 0.5 per cent on pre-recession levels (December 2007) although there is considerable variation across the country. Employment is up 122,000 (+3.3 per cent) in London but down 70,000 (-2.8 per cent) in the West Midlands.

The number of people in work is higher than pre-recession levels in London, the East of England and the East Midlands, while the North East, the West Midlands and the South West have the widest jobs gaps.

The analysis shows that there were 41,000 more women working in April 2011 than December 2007, while there were 199,000 fewer men in employment.

Women are still facing a jobs gap in some regions - female employment in the North East is down 5.1 per cent (28,000 jobs) on pre-recession levels - although in London is up 4.3 per cent (70,000 jobs).

The largest jobs gap for men is in Yorkshire and Humber at 4.3 per cent (57,000 jobs) while London has again improved the most with 52,000 more jobs (+2.5 per cent) across the capital.

While the national jobs gap has closed by 50,000 since the start of the year, the number of women in work has not increased at all. Female employment has risen in just three of the nine regions in England in 2011 - the East Midlands, the East of England and London. This suggests that improvements in the female 'jobs gap' may not be sustained in the year ahead, says the TUC.

The UK 'jobs gap' would be almost twice as large were it not for the employment growth in London, says the TUC. The surge in employment across the capital is not evenly spread however, with the number of dole claimants outnumbering job vacancies by over 20 to 1 in Haringey, Lewisham, Waltham Forest and Hackney. The City of London, Kingston-upon-Thames and Westminster currently have the lowest number of dole claimants per job vacancy in the capital.

And as the size of the working age population has increased since the start of the recession, the jobs gap only tells part of the story. In all areas of the UK employment rates remain below their pre-recession levels, says the TUC.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'While employment has been more resilient than other parts of our economy, we are still a long way short of returning to our pre-recession health, particularly for men working outside London.

'What's also worrying is that while the national jobs outlook has shown some improvement in recent months, it's getting worse for women in most parts of the country.

'Women are more than twice as likely as men to have public service jobs, so they are suffering from the government's decision to cull public sector jobs and impose a two-year pay freeze.

'A return to strong growth is the only way to close the jobs gap but government austerity is jeopardising our economic prospects. The government urgently needs a plan for growth that creates jobs across the UK, rather than concentrating them in parts of the capital while the rest of the country is left behind.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Jobs gap

Employment (000s)

Region

Dec 2007

Jan 2011

April 2011

Jobs gap

Jobs gap (per cent)

North East

1,168

1,127

1,132

-36,000

-3.1

Yorkshire and Humber

2,463

2,410

2,403

-60,000

-2.4

North West

3,180

3,153

3,120

-60,000

-1.9

East Midlands

2,139

2,123

2,146

+7,000

+0.3

West Midlands

2,501

2,407

2,431

-70,000

-2.8

East of England

2,821

2,840

2,861

40,000

1.4

London

3,729

3,846

3,851

122,000

3.3

South East

4,201

4,197

4,184

-17,000

-0.4

South West

2,573

2,530

2,506

-67,000

-2.6

UK

29,437

29,229

29,279

-158,000

-0.5

Male jobs gap

Employment level (000s)

Region

Dec 2007

Jan 2011

April 2011

Jobs gap

Jobs gap (per cent)

North East

618

598

610

-8,000

-1.3

Yorkshire and Humber

1,332

1,280

1,275

-57,000

-4.3

North West

1,709

1,684

1,664

-45,000

-2.6

East Midlands

1,157

1,151

1,164

7,000

0.6

West Midlands

1,361

1,284

1,310

-51,000

-3.7

East of England

1,529

1,539

1,541

12,000

0.8

London

2,088

2,155

2,140

52,000

2.5

South East

2,261

2,243

2,252

-9,000

-0.4

South West

1,383

1,345

1,329

-54,000

-3.9

UK

15,912

15,663

15,713

-199,000

-1.3

Female jobs gap

Employment level

Region

Dec 2007

Jan 2011

April 2011

Jobs gap

Jobs gap (per cent)

North East

550

529

522

-28,000

-5.1

Yorkshire and Humber

1,131

1,130

1,128

-3,000

-0.3

North West

1,470

1,469

1,456

-14,000

-1.0

East Midlands

982

972

982

0

0.0

West Midlands

1,140

1,123

1,122

-18,000

-1.6

East of England

1,293

1,301

1,320

27,000

2.1

London

1,641

1,692

1,711

70,000

4.3

South East

1,940

1,954

1,932

-8,000

-0.4

South West

1,190

1,185

1,177

-13,000

-1.1

UK

13,525

13,566

13,566

41,000

0.3

Source: www.statistics.gov.uk

- The jobs gap data is available at www.tuc.org.uk/tucfiles/61/jobsgap_ Aug11.xls

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet

- Congress 2011 will be held at the TUC's Congress House in central London this year. The event runs over three days, from Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 September. Free media passes can be obtained by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-19831-f0.cfm and filling in the online form. All applications for media passes must be received no later than noon on Monday 5 September. Any applications received after then will be processed when possible and may be subject to delay. Late applications will be subject to a £50 administration fee. Wi-fi will be available free of charge throughout the venue.

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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