IEA expert responds to latest labour market statistics


In the Media

Financial Times letter to the editor: Shadow Monetary Policy Committee


Mark Littlewood writes for The Telegraph

Commenting on the latest labour market statistics for April 2021 published today by the Office for National Statistics, Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: 

“Today’s labour market data highlight several concerns.

“One is that, while the overall unemployment rate is marginally down, the rate among young people remains unacceptably high despite significant numbers hopefully switching into education and training.

“The net loss of employee jobs (810,000 in the past year) masks the fact that many more have been lost, probably nearer 1.5m.

“Many new jobs have been created to offset this, a large portion of which are likely to be in the public sector where jobs are now rising.

“While this is understandable because healthcare and education are being prioritised, in the longer term we need to see private sector jobs rising at least as fast as taxpayer-funded work.

“A further worrying feature is that the number of self-employed continues to fall faster than employee jobs, with the number now 700,000 below its 5 million peak at the beginning of last year.

“Finally, we still have the dark shadow of 5m people being supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. While we are beginning to see some recovery in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors, it still seems likely that many of those currently on furlough will not have the same jobs to come back to.”


Notes to Editors

Contact: Emily Carver, Head of Media, 07715942731

Professor Len Shackleton is available for further comment.

For further IEA reading on the labour market and how to create new jobs click here.