Want A New Job? Report Reveals Poor Prospects
The number of people starting a new job is down nearly a third on pre-recession levels in parts of the UK, a new report has warned.
Only inner London has seen job creation rise to above the figures for 2006-7, with a 3% increase - despite unemployment figures being at a five-year low.
Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, which published the research, said: "Job creation is as important for people looking for work as it is for those already in work and looking to boost their incomes.
"It's worrying that across huge swathes of the country - and particularly in rural areas - job creation levels remain depressed and that where jobs are being created far more are temporary positions than before the crash.
"We need to see far more high-quality jobs being created, not just in our cities but across the UK, if we're going to achieve full employment and a return to healthy pay rises."
In some areas, including Tyne and Wear, South Yorkshire and the South East, the number of job starts is improving significantly on the depths of the downturn.
But the figures suggest that in areas like Merseyside, much of the West Midlands, and parts of the North West, it is harder to find a new job than at the worst of the crash.
In the past four years, the brewery Marston's has built 100 new pubs including The Grazing Cow in Telford, Shropshire. Each one creates around 50 jobs.
CEO Ralph Findlay can see why London and other cities including Birmingham and Newcastle are seeing the most growth, but he says the company likes to invest in areas where jobs are hard to come by.
"What we've got to try to do is encourage investment in some of the other areas where there is a desperate need for creating jobs and additional business," he said.
"Business will not come without amenities and that is one of the things this kind of thing is able to offer."
The report also suggests that the rate at which young people are being hired has fallen considerably in the past 17 years.
Becky Hill, 20, started waitressing at The Grazing Cow a week ago, after spending six months trying to find work despite handing out endless CVs to different employers.
"A lot of the time they are doing zero-hour contracts because it's very flexible for them as and when they need you," she said.
"It's been difficult and many people think I need something more permanent than that and more structure than that in their lives."
The Government says the report is misleading and a record number of people are in fact in work while vacancies are rising.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: "This report paints a misleading picture of the jobs market. The reality is we have a record number of people in work.
"Job vacancies rose by 116,000 over the past year, and it's a sign of confidence among businesses up and down the country that they're working hard to hold on to staff as well as taking on new workers."