The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has said that flexible working is the driving force behind the UK’s employment sector. As the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that unemployment levels have fallen, the chief of the REC, Kevin Green, said that firms allowing workers to work in varied shift patterns were significantly bolstering the labour market.

Whilst permanent job numbers are increasing, Mr Green revealed that it was temporary and part-time worker billings that were leading the charts, showing that there were increasing employment opportunities in this field. Too many individuals “talk down” part-time work, Mr Green explained, saying that with over 80% of part-time workers choosing to work in this manner, it is becoming a more valued approach to employment. “The jobs numbers show that the first round of public sector job losses, in reality, have been absorbed by the private sector, which wasn’t a foregone conclusion and is a reassuring sign of the strength of the labour market,” Mr Green added.

Whilst unemployment figures have dropped, and more people are working as part-time and temporary workers, Mr Green also explained that there was still a lot of work to do if the economy and labour market were to be stabilised. Long-term unemployment figures continue to increase, indicating that, when the market picks up, people who have been out of work for years will find it increasingly hard to get back into employment; however, with increasing numbers of individuals in work, part-time and temporary vacancies could offer hope for many.

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