Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:
“These latest figures could hardly be better in terms of the strength of employment growth and the quality of jobs, with permanent, full-time employment accounting for nearly all of the employment growth.
“The big winners to emerge have been women aged between 25-34, whose numbers in the workforce have swelled by 85,000 over the past year, which represents around a quarter of the annual increase. This suggests that the government’s enhanced childcare offering may be working in tandem with the tightening labour market, which is nudging more employers to offer flexible working arrangements.
“And in contrast to much of the past decade, this good news is accompanied by relatively strong real earnings growth which will help offset the January blues for many workers.”