Positive upturn in labour market
The headline statistics bring positive news for the labour market this month, reversing some of the slight deterioration that has occurred since the turn of the year. Encouragingly, the employment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points over the three months to February.
The majority of this increase was driven by full time jobs. This is good news given that the early recovery of improvements in employment rates was being driven by increases in part time jobs (because of weak labour demand).
The increasing role that full time job creation is playing suggests that demand of labour is becoming ever stronger. Page 2 looks in more detail at patterns of labour demand. This rise in employment has had a positive impact on unemployment, which fell by 0.2 percentage points compared to last month. But the woes for women in the labour market continue. While male unemployment fell, female unemployment increased in the three months to February.