UK unemployment has fallen again in the last quarter, with the number of people out of work in the public sector decreasing by 235,000 to 5.664m.
Private sector unemployment also dropped by around 471,000 to 23.9m, although taking the reclassification of English colleges into the private sector, unemployment in the sectorfell by 275,000.
Education took the hardest statistical hit, as employment as a whole fell significantly by 12.8% as 204,000 found themselves without a job.
The Office for National Statistics explained: “The main reason for this was the reclassification of English further education colleges and English sixth form college corporations which resulted in 196,000 employment moving to the private sector.
“Without the effects of this reclassification education still shows the largest decrease between Q1 2012 and Q2 2012 (around 8,000), followed by the NHS (7,000; 0.4 per cent).”
Employment in the civil service enjoyed its fifth consecutive decrease for the quarter, with 5,000 people finding jobs.
Regionally, London had the largest number of public sector workers with 747,000 employees in this sector. London is followed by the North West with 647,000 workers, and the South East with 639, 000.
Despite a quarterly improvement, industries across the board showed employment decreases year-on-year, and the number of people out of work for over 12 months is 904,000, which is the highest figure since 1996.
Tony Dolphin, IPPR’s Chief Economist, said: “Today’s figures show further falls in unemployment and more people in work, which is good news. But with youth unemployment rising, questions will be asked about how effective the implementation of the government’s Youth Contract is proving.
“Despite improvements in the overall employment rate, long-term unemployment has hit a 16 year high remains a serious problem, with more than 900,000 people out of work for more than a year. The long-term unemployed should be offered a guaranteed job to make sure they don’t become permanently cut off from the jobs market.”
Steve Ross, chair of insolvency trade body R3 in the north east and a director in the Corporate Recovery department of the Sunderland office of accountancy firm RSM Tenon, said: “Unemployment levels are down slightly on the quarter, which is heartening news and perhaps an indication that the Olympics did bring the boost that was promised.
“Furthermore, in August, the Insolvency Service’s statistics showed that personal insolvencies are also down on the quarter. Both of these are very positive signs for the state of the nation’s personal finances, but we should not get complacent.
“There are large numbers of people who, in spite of their employment status, are hiding real financial difficulty and fall outside of the official statistics. Research by R3 has found that 54% of people are worried about their current level of debt and there are swathes of people in informal Debt Management Plans.
“Furthermore, over a quarter (28%) of people have no savings at all, and the same percentage believe their personal financial situation will worsen in the coming months. Seeking professional, regulated advice and taking a proactive approach to tackling your personal financial issues could stop a bump in the road, turning into a something much more serious.”
TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, added: “The mini recovery in jobs is running out of steam with unemployment up 29,000 on the month.
“While it’s welcome that new jobs are being created, the fact that nearly 40 per cent of them are in London suggests our post-Olympics hangover will also hit the economy.
“Young people are still struggling, with over a million youngsters out of work and rising. The news for those in work is also gloomy. Under-employment has hit a record high of 2.1 million. And workers are still getting poorer every month as prices rise twice as fast as wages.
“People desperately want decent full-time jobs but increasingly feel that the government is not on their side.”
Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills, remarked that while times are tough, opportunities to grow do exist.
He said: “Today’s labour market figures confirm this, with firms creating jobs at a robust pace, more than offsetting public sector job losses in the second quarter. Total unemployment has fallen, and fewer people are claiming jobseeker’s allowance.
“Unemployment among young people remains a huge challenge. The number of young people out of work has risen this month, but this is alongside 75,000 more who have started actively looking for work, with 58,000 more young people finding work in the three months to July.
“At a critical time of year, with many young people entering the labour force for the first time, it is encouraging that youth employment is rising, but the Government cannot afford to lose focus on this vital issue.”