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UK – Nearly half a million more jobs, but what are they?

19 December 2013

Nearly half a million (485,000) more people have jobs in the UK this year compared to last year, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). It brings the total number of employed Britons to a record high of 30.1 million, approximately 59% of the adult population, with a further 4% self-employed, reports Channel4.

The figures show growth in two areas; at the top in professional and managerial jobs and in lower-paid service jobs; such as hairdressers. On the negative side, over 100,000 jobs have been lost in sales and customer services since last year.

Channel4 did not have direct access to the information on the 485,000 jobs that Britain has gained since last year, or the latest breakdown of employment for different occupations is for July-September 2013. However, according to available data, of the nine broad categories there are big jumps in two areas, ‘personal services’ and ‘professional services’; both of which saw employment increases of +5%.

Personal services; which includes nurses, child-minders, hairdressers, those employed in the leisure and travel industry, and undertakers, reported the biggest year-on-year rise. Employment in that field rose by +5.4%, an increase of 138,000 people. It means that 2.72 million were employed in those jobs in 2013, an increase from 2.58 million in 2012.

Professional occupations; which includes scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, civil servants, and architects, also reported a big increase: rising 5.1% in the last year. Some 4.2 million were employed as professionals by September 2013, a jump of 201,000 on the 2012 figure of 3.9 million.

The biggest employment category is managers and senior officials. That includes managers in sectors from finance, health, property, and HR. It has added 57,000 jobs, a +1.2% increase.

Occupations that have fallen back include sales and customer service jobs with 119,000 jobs lost in that sector, a fall of -5.3% leaving only 2.1 million employed in jobs such as shop assistants and call-centre work.

There was a slight increase in skilled trades, up by +1.2 per cent and a very minor increase in manufacturing jobs, up by +0.3%. The number of unemployed Britons sits at 2.39 million, equating to 7.4% of the population.

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