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GDP and the Labour Market, 2013 Q2, August Labour Market Update

Released: 14 August 2013 Download PDF

Index of output, employment and hours since 2008, seasonally adjusted

Index of output, employment and hours since 2008, seasonally adjusted
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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In Q2 2013 the UK economy grew by 0.6%, following growth of 0.3% in the previous quarter. GDP remains 3.3% below its pre-downturn peak in Q1 2008.

Services industries continued to be the lead contributor to growth, growing by 0.6% in Q2 2013 and contributing 0.5 percentage points towards quarterly GDP growth. Output in production (0.6%) and construction (0.9%) also expanded, making this the first quarter since Q3 2010 that the three major industry groups all had a positive contribution to quarterly GDP.

Growth in GDP was accompanied by further resilience in the labour market. In Q2 2013, the number of people over 16 and in employment reached a record high of 29.8 million, increasing by 69,000 on the quarter and 301,000 on the year. Similarly the UK employment rate continued to rise, increasing by 0.1 percentage points to 71.5%. This is still 1.5 percentage points below what it was in Q1 2008.

While the number of people in employment aged 16 and over has exceeded what it was at the start of the 2008/09 downturn, the employment rate has not increased to a similar extent. This is because the employment rate refers to the population aged 16 to 64 in employment, therefore excluding those in work aged 65 and over. Similarly, the population size has been increasing over this period and at a faster rate than employment, resulting in a larger labour force.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q2 2013 at 7.8%, while total weekly hours increased for the eighth successive quarter to reach 953.1 million hours.

While the quarterly unemployment rate has not changed over the past four quarters, the dynamics of unemployment has seen the number of people unemployed for longer increase when compared with Q2 2012.

Comparison of unemployment by duration: All aged 16 and over, Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, seasonally adjusted

Comparison of unemployment by duration: All aged 16 and over, Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, seasonally adjusted
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Over the past year, the total number of people unemployed decreased by 49,000 to 2.51 million. However, while those unemployed for up to 12 months fell by 77,000, those unemployed for longer than 12 months increased by 28,000.

In Q2 2013, 36% of people unemployed had been unemployed for over 12 months; and of them over half have been unemployed for longer than 24 months. As a result, around 19% of those currently unemployed had been so for over 24 months – up from 18% in Q2 2012 and up from 11% in Q2 2008.

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Sources

    GDP: chained volume measures, seasonally adjusted, Office for National Statistics (ABMI)

    Employment level: All aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGRZ)

    Total weekly hours (millions), seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBUS)

    Unemployment level: All aged 16 and over, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (MGSC)

    Unemployment by duration: All aged 16 and over, Up to 6 months, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBWF)

    Unemployment by duration: All aged 16 and over, Over 6 and up to 12 months, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBWG)

    Unemployment by duration: All aged 16 and over, Over 12 months, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBWH)

    Unemployment by duration: All aged 16 and over, Over 24 months, seasonally adjusted, Labour Force Survey, Office for National Statistics (YBWL)

  2. Notes

    GDP data is from the "Gross Domestic Product: Preliminary Estimate - Q2 2013" published on the 25 July 2013.

    Labour Market data is from the "Labour Market Statistics - August 2013" published on the 14 August 2013.

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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