New Jobs Stats And Debunking The Myths

I'm delighted that new statistics released today show great news for employment across the country.

We have more people in work than ever before, the lowest unemployment rate in 44 years and wages growing faster than any point in the last 11 years.

The stats cover the period from March to May 2019 where the overall unemployment rate was 3.8%, the lowest it's been since October to December 1974.

We also have a record number of women in employment at 72%.

There was a 3.4% growth in employee earnings on the year in cash terms (the highest in almost 11 years) and, after taking inflation into account they were up by 1.4% (the highest in three years).

Naturally, when we celebrate good news there's always a lot of scepticism around the numbers. So let's do some myth busting:

Zero hours contracts are included in the figures released by the ONS and they always have been. Despite this just 1.4% (as of 2018) of the UK's working population are working less than six hours a week. This is a drop from 1.8% in 2000.

And the ONS's data is consistent with other countries as they use the employment definition drawn up by the International Labour Organization (ILO). 

Zero hour contracts offer flexibility to workers who may not be able to commit to a certain number of hours every week.

Further ONS research found 72% of people on a zero hours contract said they didn’t want more hours, or 63% of everyone on the contracts (including the unknowns).

As of mid-2018 they average person on a zero hours contract usually worked about 25 hours per week.