Gerwyn Davies, Senior Labour Market Adviser comments:
“Today’s official figures are disappointing in many respects, most notably the 220, 000 quarterly drop in the number of people in work and the rise in economic inactivity. The sharp fall in employment highlights a dramatic deterioration for the employment prospects oyoung people, part-time workers and older workers in particular.
"A real concern is that this is just the first wave of bad news for the jobs market. The fact that reduced hiring rather than increased firing of permanent staff is the main cause of the jobs slowdown to-date bodes ill for the coming months if more employers turn to redundancies as a last resort.
“A real pay squeeze is hardly helping the situation, with pay rises falling back well below price inflation. The combination of large-scale job losses, job insecurity and falling real incomes means that the UK economy needs all the help it can get. The Government might therefore wish to consider keeping an open mind to protecting some industries through a revised Job Retention Scheme beyond the end of October and through the winter."