Fall of business sector employee numbers slows in April

The number of full-time employees rose for the first time this year, and the rise mostly likely reflected the extension of public works financed from the central budget. The number of private sector employees fell a further 17,100 in April after dropping 32,500 in March. Private sector companies employed 1,830,200 people in April, 5.4pc fewer than a year earlier. Most of the recent layoffs affected blue-collar employees in the business sector, whose number fell 10.6pc in twelve months to 1,138,800 in April. The number of blue-collar employees in the sector fell 10,200 in April alone, the drop slowed from a 26,500 decline in March. The number of employees in the public sector rose 21,300 after a 3,000 increase in March. Their number, at 733,600, was 0.4pc below year-earlier levels. A total of 19,900, the bulk of the April rise, consisted of blue-collar workers, whose number increased 4.9pc in twelve months to 200,100 in April. The number of white-collar workers was 532,400 in the public sector in April, down 0.9pc yr/yr. The business sector employed 701,400 white-collar employees in April, 0.3pc fewer than a year earlier.

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