European employment

European employment: Eurostat

  • The number of persons employed remained stable in the euro area1 (EA17) and increased by 0.1% in the EU27 in the second quarter of 2012 compared with the previous quarter
  • In the first quarter of 2012, employment fell by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.1% in the EU27
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment fell by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU27 in the second quarter of 2012 (after -0.5% and -0.2% respectively in the first quarter of 2012)
  • In the second quarter of 2012, 223.4 million men and women were employed in the EU27, of which 146.4 million were in the euro area
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UK unemployment dropping

Labour Market Statistics, September 2012: ONS

May to July 2012:

  • The unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.1 on the quarter. There were 2.59 million unemployed people, down 7,000 on the quarter
  • The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.2 per cent, up 0.5 on the quarter. There were 29.56 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 236,000 on the quarter
  • The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 22.4 per cent, down 0.5 on the quarter. There were 9.01 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 181,000 on the quarter

Public Sector Employment, Q2 2012: ONS

  • Total UK public sector employment decreased for the eleventh consecutive quarter in Q2 2012, by 235,000 to 5.664 million.
  • UK local government decreased by 56,000 and UK central government decreased by 175,000, both affected by the reclassification of the English colleges.
  • Civil Service employment in Great Britain decreased for the fifth consecutive quarter, by 5,000 to an estimated 459,000.
  • Employment in UK public corporations decreased for the eighth consecutive quarter, by 4,000 to 485,000.
  • In Q2 2012, private sector employment increased for the tenth consecutive quarter, by an estimated 471,000 to 23.896 million. When the effects of the reclassification of the English colleges are removed, private sector employment increased by 275,000.
  • The Q2 2012 total public sector employment estimate is 394,000 lower than the Q2 2011 estimate. The Q2 2012 private sector estimate is 824,000 higher than the Q2 2011 estimate.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said the latest ONS statistics highlight the gradual re-engineering of the UK labour market during the past two years.

  • Public sector headcount has fallen by around 430, 000 since June 2010.
  • Growth in the private sector has compensated for the fall in public sector employment
  • The number of people in employment has risen by 442, 000 in the two years to July 2012.  Of this total, the increase in the number of self-employed (261, 000) exceeds the rise in the number of employees (152, 000).
  • The number of unpaid family workers and people on government supported employment and training programmes has also risen to a two-year high.
  • The number of temporary workers that could not find a permanent job has fallen from 36% in July 2010 to 40% in July 2012. Meanwhile, the number of people working part-time involuntarily has increased from 1.1 million to 1.4 million in the two years to July 2012.

UK Trade

UK Trade, July 2012: ONS

  • Seasonally adjusted, the UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services was £1.5 billion in July, compared with a deficit of £4.3 billion in June.
  • The UK’s deficit in Trade in Goods narrowed to £7.1 billion in July, down from £10.1 billion in June.
  • In the three months ending July 2012 trade in goods and services was estimated to have been in deficit by £8.0 billion, compared with a deficit of £10.5 billion in the preceding three months.

Optimism among UK businesses has fallen to a 20-year low

Business Trends report: BDO LLP

  • BDO’s Optimism Index, which predicts business performance two quarters ahead, suggests the economy will continue to contract at the start of 2013.  The index fell to 89.1 in August from 93.1 in July.  This is the sixth consecutive month that the data has registered a drop, with a four-point plunge from 93.1 in July.  Business confidence is now at its lowest level since the Business Trends indices began in 1992, and significantly below the crucial 95 mark which would indicate a return to growth.
  • BDO’s Output Index – which predicts short-run turnover expectations – has also fallen sharply, from to 90.8 in August from 93.9 in July, reaching its lowest point for 40 months.
  • BDO’s Employment Index fell to 92.1 in August
  • Conditions for UK job seekers are unlikely to improve before the end of the year

European GDP down

European GDP down, Q2 2012: Eurostat

  • GDP decreased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.1% in the EU27 during the second quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter
  • In the first quarter of 2012, growth rates were 0.0% in both zones.
  • Compared with the second quarter of 2011, seasonally adjusted GDP decreased by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU27, after 0.0% and +0.1% respectively in the previous quarter.
  • During the second quarter of 2012, household final consumption expenditure decreased by 0.2% in both the euro area and the EU27 (after -0.2% and -0.1% respectively in the previous quarter).
  • Gross fixed capital formation fell by 0.8% in the euro area and by 0.9% in the EU27 (after -1.3% and -0.7%).
  • Exports rose by 1.3% in the euro area and by 1.0% in the EU27 (after +0.7% and +0.5%). Imports increased by 0.9% in both zones (after -0.2% in both zones).
  • In the United States GDP increased by 0.4% during the second quarter of 2012, after +0.5% in the first quarter of 2012. In Japan GDP increased by 0.3% in the second quarter of 2012, after +1.3% in the previous quarter. Compared with the second quarter of 2011, GDP gained 2.3% in the United States (after +2.4% in the previous quarter) and 3.6% in Japan (after +2.8%).

OECD cuts the forecast of UK GDP growth

What is the near-term global economic outlook? An interim assessment

  • UK 2012: -0.7%. UK Q4 2012: 0.2%
  • Germany 2012: 0.8%
  • France 2012: 0.1%
  • Italy 2012: -2.4%
  • G7 2012: 1.4%
  • United States 2012: 2.3%
  • Japan 2012: 2.2%
  • The global economy has weakened since spring, led by developments in the euro area where recession is again taking hold
  • According to forward-looking indicators, the loss of momentum at the G7 level may persist through the latter half of this year, with the recession in the euro area and associated trade and confidence headwinds enduring
  • With the euro area crisis still the most important risk for the global economy, further policy action is needed to instil more confidence in the monetary union