LONDON, JAN 15 — Record employment figures in Britain show a profound change in the structure of the economy, a research published Monday showed.
London-based think-tank Resolution Foundation (RF) in a report “Setting the Record Straight” on the changing nature of employment noted that uninterrupted jobs growth since 2011 had led to 32.5 million people in work, 75.7 percent of the working population, a high since records began in 1971.
“Before this point, the UK suffered downturns in which employment fell and unemployment rose, but it then recovered — each time the figure tended to get back to 72-73 percent,” Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst at RF and report author told Xinhua.
The jobs boom had brought some of the most disadvantaged groups into employment, with ethnic minorities and people with low qualifications among main beneficiaries, and the least-qualified third of workers accounted for almost half of the net increase in employment.
“Employment rates have risen a lot for groups of people like single parents, people with health problems who often find it hard to work,” said Clarke.
“Growth is mainly towards the bottom of household incomes groups. It has really benefited lower income households and those groups that find it hard to move into work.”
Clarke said employment growth has happened across the country, but particularly in cities such as Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds which had once been industrial cities.
“What is new about the last decade is that the UK has pushed on through that barrier and has gone to 75.5 percent or even higher at the moment,” Clarke said.
Clarke said the sustained growth in the number of jobs had “upended” expectations about the economy.
“It is hoped that that is a new level and we have become a country with a higher level of employment, like Scandinavian countries or Japan,” he said. – XINHUA