Employment in Task 1 Writing

Recently I was telling students that for certain statistics, generic labels like number and amount might not be suitable, for example when you’re writing about employment. Then today I saw this up-beat news item from the BBC, which contains some nice examples of ’employment speak’!


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UK unemployment fell by 3,000 to 1.44 million in the three months to November. The number of those in work increased sharply and wages rose at their fastest rate in almost a year. That leaves the UK’s unemployment rate at a four-decade low of 4.3%. The pace of job creation was faster than economists had predicted. The number of people in work rose by 102,000 in the three months to November, taking total employment to a record 32.2 million.



  • unemployment - Aha, ‘unemployment’ is already a statistics word, so no need for ‘number’ or ‘amount’!
  • those in work - A phrase to describe people who are NOT unemployed!
  • unemployment rate - Collocation
  • a four-decade low of 4.3% - At + a low + of + number/percentage
  • The number of people in work - A similar phrase to describe people not unemployed. And notice how ‘the’ is the friend of ‘of’!
  • employment - Again, ’employment’ (not number or amount) as a label for the statistic ‘32.2 million’.


What about employment in your country? Is it good news or bad news at the moment? Let us know in the comments box.

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