By Max Clarke

Dr John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), comments as follows on official labour market statistics for the August-October 2010 quarter published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

“The latest jobs market figures are much worse than expected and the opposite of what was wanted in the run-up to Christmas, with no joy and very little comfort on offer. It is especially disappointing to see the positive momentum that had built up earlier in 2010 appear to run out of steam even before the full impact of the coalition government’s spending cuts and tax hikes take effect. This does not bode well for 2011.

“The limited comfort in the latest jobs figures comes in the form of another slight fall in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance and a tiny increase in job vacancies. But the remainder of the ONS statistical release reads as if it was scripted by the Grinch who stole Christmas”:

Private sector job creation dries up as the toll of public sector job cuts mounts — the fall in public sector employment in 2010 so far remaining in-line with previous CIPD estimates

Manufacturing — at the forefront of the export led economic recovery — still downsizing and now joined by construction which will be a part of the private sector set to feel the brunt of cuts in public spending

Redundancies on the up and total unemployment above 2.5 million, with 1 in 3 of these people unemployed for more than a year

Women take a big jobs hit — fewer in work and now well over 1 million unemployed, with public sector job cuts set to make the jobs outlook for women much worse in 2011

Middle aged jobs squeeze, as highlighted earlier this week by a CIPD study, continues but the youth labour market has also taken another turn for the worse

Full-time jobs still being lost — now 1.16 million frustrated part-time workers who can’t find full-time work and almost 600,000 frustrated temporary workers (nearly 2 in 5 of all temps) who can’t find permanent work

Pay rises ticking-up slightly but still easily outstripped by price inflation — foreshadowing a lengthy period of falling real living standards for most UK workers and typical families

“All this of course is a picture of the UK labour market after what has generally been considered a better than expected year of jobs recovery. And it’s hard to see things getting much better in 2011.”