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20 February 2013
Commenting on today's labour market statistics, Charles Levy, senior economist at The Work Foundation, said:
“The ONS have today confirmed that at the end of last year the labour market was continuing to recover strongly. Comparing the three months to December with the previous three months, employment increased by an impressive 154,000, taking the annual tally of new jobs created to 584,000. We should be particularly encouraged by the fact that our economy is now consistently creating full-time work – full-time employee jobs increased by 167,000 over the three month period. And the number of individuals reporting that they are working part-time because they can't find full-time work is finally starting to fall.
“However, wage growth remains low, tempering what would otherwise be a very positive picture. Annual increases in total pay were only 1.4% in December, well behind inflation. This means that on average, living standards for those in work are still falling.
“The increase in long-term male youth unemployment of 16,000 also signifies just how tough the labour market remains for the 2.5m people who are looking for work.”