Improved manufacturing productivity holds clue to puzzling job figures

September 2004
Management Services;Sep2004, Vol. 48 Issue 9, p3
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) 2004 second quarterly 'Human Resource Trends and Indicators' survey. The surprise fall in employment and higher International Labour Organization (ILO) unemployment in the three months to May 2004, as recorded in the official labor market statistics, are puzzling but can be explained by a close look at developments in the manufacturing sector and other underlying market trends, according to John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD. John Philpott states that the fall of almost 30,000 in the number of people employed in Great Britain and the corresponding small rise in the number of unemployed and seeking work, is puzzling given other signs including the results of the CIPD survey of employers' recruitment intentions, suggesting that the economic recovery is gathering pace. Job gains in both public and private sector services have continually offset manufacturing job cuts. But with the active labor pool low in numbers and poor in quality, employers, as the CIPD survey also shows, are finding it hard to recruit people employable enough to fill vacancies. This presents a major challenge to government and employees to help get more economically active people ready for available jobs.


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