There may be more people in work than ever before, but unemployment is not at a record low.
Treasury officials say this apparent discrepancy is due to the island’s growing population and a skills shortage.
Carl Hawker, assistant financial controller, explained: ‘The population does not stay static.
‘Therefore, if the population as a whole is growing, there can be new record numbers in employment, with a static, increasing or decreasing level of unemployment, depending upon whether the general growth in employment numbers is sufficient to create jobs for all the extra people who want them.’
There is also a mismatch between the jobs being created and the skills of the unemployed.
Mr Hawker said ‘the jobs being created do not sometimes match the skills of the people requiring the jobs, and this can prevent job creation directly reducing unemployment’.
In addition, he said that there are ‘demographic issues’, in respect of larger or smaller cohorts of people coming in or out of employment, and wider changes such as more mature people, or parents choosing to work that can cause an increase in employment without necessarily impacting levels of unemployment.
Mr Hawker said: ‘So while on the surface the two figures look like they should be linked, in practice you can have increasing employment and increasing unemployment at the same time if there are enough people looking for work to grow both.’
He added: ‘Having record levels of employment is still good news.
‘It means more people who want jobs are getting them, and that there are more opportunities for all those seeking work, even if some may need retraining to move into them.’
The latest quarterly report, produced for the Council of Ministers by the Treasury’s Economic Affairs Division and covering the three months to the end of June, states that ‘the numbers in employment, as per tax records, are at a record high’.
At the end of July, unemployment in the island stood at 2.4 per cent.
There were 1,055 people out of work – a fall by one person on the previous month.
A total of 715 vacancies were notified to the Job Centre during the month and 335 vacancies held on file at the end of the month.