Chart of the day: Full-time trouble
Digging deeper, some worrying trends reveal themselves. The fall in unemployment was almost entirely due to a rise in part-time work. Full-time employment rose by just 3,000 for employees, and full-time self employment actually fell by 13,000. Meanwhile, the total number of people working part time rose by 80,000 people.
The stats also break down the reasons why people are working part-time, and reveals that 1.4 million of the 7.8 million part-time employees are only doing so because they cannot get a full time job, an increase of 89,000 people.
Similar stories were seen in the figures for temporary employment. 22,000 more people were employed temporarily in the three months leading to February, a 1.4 per cent increase, and again, a large number were only working temporarily because they could not find a permanent job: 627,000, just under 40 per cent of all temporary employees, a 6.4 per cent increase.
Clearly, these increases are good; it is better to be employed, even temporarily, than not at all. But there has been a fear of an under-employment crisis bubbling under the surface for some time now, and today's releases reinforce that narrative.