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Video Summary: Latest on the Labour Market, August 2012

Released: 15 August 2012

Slide 1

This is a short video looking at the latest on the UK labour market in August 2012.

Slide 2

It will cover April to June 2012, compared to January to March 2012.

We will show the level and the rate, and unemployment was down 46,000 to 2.56 million, with a rate of 8.0 per cent.

Employment for everyone aged 16 and over was 29.48 million, up 201,000, and 71 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were in work. Inactivity was 9.10 million, down 117,000, and around 22.6 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were inactive.

Finally, the claimant count, a count of people claiming benefits related to looking for work, in July 2012, was down 6,000 on June 2012 to stand at 1.59million. And the claimant count rate stood at 4.9 per cent.

Slide 3

This month we will be focusing on the change in employment rates across the year from April to June 2011 to April to June 2012. For the period in 2011 the number of those aged 16 and over in employment stood at 29.22 million. Across the same period in 2012 this number stood at 29.48 million, an increase of 251 thousand.

If we now analyse this increase by sex we can see that men account for 163 thousand of the increase and women account for the other 88 thousand.

If we now consider the impact across a variety of age bands, and using the graph, we can see that the age groups of 25 to 34, 50 to 64 and 65 and over have seen an increase in employment levels, whereas young people, aged 16 to 24 and middle aged people, aged 35-49 have seen a decrease. 

Turning are attention to the pie chart we can see that of the 251 thousand increase in the number of those employed, 200 thousand are aged between 16 and 64 and the remaining 52 thousand are those aged over 65.

Slide 4

Now we will focus on the 16-64 age demographic. Here we can see that the population of this groups stands at 40.1 million, of which 28.5 million are employed, 2.5 million are unemployed and the remaining 9.1 million are inactive.

If we now bring up this chart to look at the changes in levels for these groups compared to the previous year we can see that the population has increased by 34 thousand, employment levels have increased by 200 thousand, unemployment levels have increased by 49 thousand, and finally inactivity levels fell by 214 thousand.

So we can see falls in inactivity have driven the increase in employment levels but we see that people move from inactivity to unemployment and then into employment.

So what is causing this large decrease in the level of inactivity?

Slide 5

If we consider the graph, we can see that students account for 69 thousand of the decrease, looking after the family or the home accounts for 9 thousand, disability and sickness, both temporary and long term, account for 28 thousand, the number of those retiring accounts for 99 thousand and finally other causes account for the remaining 9 thousand.

The largest decrease is due to changes in retirement levels so we will now illustrate the gender differences. We can see that, in fact, the number of men retiring actually increased by 3 thousand, whereas the number of women retiring decreased by 101 thousand. The reasoning for this is due to the rise in State Pension Age for women and thus women have to be older now to retire.

Slide 6

In this final slide we will briefly look at seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted figures before moving onto analyse the increase in employment levels looking at firstly, those born within the United Kingdom against those who were not, and secondly, UK Nationals compared to non-UK nationals.

The seasonally adjusted figure for the increase in employment stands at 251 thousand, as illustrated earlier. However, the non-seasonally adjusted figure is in fact slightly higher at 257 thousand. Since the difference is so small, it demonstrates that the effect on the overall figure as a result of seasonally adjusting is not that large when comparing year on year.

We will be now use the non-seasonally adjusted figures to look at how UK born and non-UK born individuals have attributed to the increase in the levels of employment. We can see from the pie chart that UK born individuals account for 190 thousand of the increase, whereas non-UK born accounts for the remaining 67 thousand.

Turning our attention to nationalities, we can see from the graph that UK nationals account for the majority of the changes, with a figure of 246 thousand. Non-UK nationals account for 15 thousand whilst unknown nationalities have seen a slight decrease of 4 thousand. This means that for the 2012 period there were fewer cases where the nationality was not known compared with the same period in 2011.


Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Further information is available in the Statistical Bulletin and the data tables.

  2. A number of video stories relating to labour market statistics are available from NOMIS®.

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
    • are well explained and readily accessible;
    • are produced according to sound methods; and
    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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