15 October 2014 - Reacting to the publication, today, of the latest UK employment figures, which have seen unemployment levels fall by 154,000 to 1.97 million, Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, says:
“Stop to ask anyone in the street and the populist perspective is that the ‘jobs gap’ is shrinking. Most people are quick to say that it’s easier to get a job, today, than it was 12 months ago. Whilst the latest figures certainly give credibility to this view, my fear is that there are still pockets of the economy where jobs are not just hard to come by – but also hard to hold on to."
“Only yesterday, sales figures were reported as being at their lowest level for six years and this comes swiftly after news suggesting that part-time workers were increasing at a faster rate than those seeking full-time employment. The question this begs is whether we have really begun to see the ‘jobs gap’ closing, or whether it has just taken on a different shape."
“There are also stark differences across the country. Combine this with the difficulties young people still have when it comes to joining the workforce and it is clear that we still have some way to go. With KPMG’s own Report on Jobs showing that permanent placements have slowed to a 10-month low, perhaps this note of caution is set to continue for some time yet. If that is the case, the jobs figures will still look good at first glance – but there is still room for improvement.”
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Notes to Editors:
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 11,500 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2013. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 155,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.
This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.