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More people in employment but little change in the number of unemployed people compared with the previous quarter

Comparing April-June 2013, with the previous three months, there was a rise in the number of employed people, and little change in the number of people who were unemployed and the number of people not in the labour force

Comparing April-June 2013 with a year earlier, there were 301,000 more people in employment, 49,000 fewer unemployed people and 105,000 fewer people not in the labour force (economically inactive).

Employment up 69,000 on the quarter and 301,000 on the year

Overall, there were 29.78 million people in work, an increase of 69,000 when comparing April-June 2013 with the previous three months. Looking over a longer time period, employment was up 301,000 on the year. The employment rate, which measures the percentage of people aged from 16 to 64 in work, was 71.5%.

Compared with 5 years ago more people are employed overall but the percentage of people aged 16 to 64 in employment is lower

Looking at people in employment over the last five years, the number of people aged 16 and over in employment was 241,000 higher in April-June 2013 compared with April-June 2008, when the 2008-09 downturn started. However there were 76,000 fewer people aged from 16 to 64 in employment in April-June 2013 compared with April-June 2008. Over this period the number of people aged 65 and over in employment increased by 317,000 to reach just over 1 million. 

While the number of people aged from 16 to 64 in employment has nearly recovered to what it was at the start of the downturn five years ago, the employment rate has not recovered as much. For April-June 2013, 71.5% of people aged 16 to 64 were employed. Five years earlier the employment rate was 1.4 percentage points higher at 72.9%. This is because the population of people aged from 16 to 64 has increased over this period.  Between April-June 2008 and April-June 2013 there has been a rise of 673,000 in the population aged from 16 to 64 and a fall of 76,000 in the number of people in employment for the same age group.

A further fall in the number of claimants

Comparing July 2013 with a month earlier the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 29,200 to reach 1.44 million and, over the year, was down 145,400. The number of JSA claimants is the lowest since February 2009. The Claimant Count measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and differs from unemployment as many unemployed people are not eligible for, or do not claim, Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Welcome to the latest on the UK labour market, covering the period April to June 2013.

Firstly looking at employment, the number of people in employment has been rising on the quarter and the year, so that in April to June 2013, 29.78 million people aged 16 and over were in work. This is a rise of 69 thousand on the previous quarter and a rise of 301 thousand on the year. 71.5% of people aged 16 to 64 were employed.

Turning to those not employed but seeking work, i.e. the unemployed, overall unemployment is marginally down on the quarter and the year. In April to June 2013, 2.51 million people aged 16 and over were out of work but seeking and available to work. This was a fall of 4 thousand on the previous quarter and a fall of 49 thousand on the year. 7.8 per cent of the labour force aged 16 and over could not find a job.

Focusing on those people seeking work and claiming benefits principally because they are not in work;

In July 2013, 1.44 million people aged 18 and over were claiming Jobseeker’s allowance, a benefit related to looking for work. This is a fall of 29 thousand on the previous month and a fall of 145 thousand on the year. It is also the lowest number since February 2009.

Moving down to consider those not employed and not seeking or available to work, i.e. those not in the labour force, 8.99 million people aged between 16 and 64 were either not looking for work or not available to work in April to June 2013. This is a fall of 10 thousand on the previous quarter and a fall of 105 thousand on the year. Considering the 8.99 million as a share of all people aged 16 to 64, 22.3% of them were not in the labour force.

Returning  to employment and, this month, looking at people in employment over the past 5 years:

Consider these two lines which each show the number of people employed from 2008 to 2013.

Let’s firstly focus on the top one which represents those aged 16 and over. If we now bring on this dashed line which shows the number of people in this age group that were employed at the start of the 2008/2009 downturn, it shows us that the employment level for this age group has risen above what it was at the start of the downturn. In fact currently the employment level for 16 and over is 241 thousand higher than at the start of the 2008/2009 downturn.

Moving on to focus on the bottom line, which represents those aged 16 to 64, if we compare this line to this dashed one which shows the level of employment for the 16 to 64 age group at the start of the downturn, we illustrate that while the current level is nearing what it was, it has not yet reached the start of downturn level. In fact, considering the most recent figures, the employment level of those aged 16 to 64 remains 76 thousand below what it was at the start of the downturn. This disparity can be explained by increasing numbers of people aged 65 and over remaining in work.

While the number of people aged 16 to 64 in employment is nearly what it was at the start of the downturn, the employment rate has not recovered as much. The chart shows that at the start of the downturn, 72.9% of all those aged 16 to 64 were employed but now a  lower share of 71.5% of them are. This is because the population of people aged 16 to 64 has grown over this time. Over the past five years there has been a rise of 673 thousand in the number of  people aged 16 to 64 and a fall of 76 thousand in the number of them in employment.

That was the latest on the UK labour market.

 

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Categories: Labour Market, People in Work, Employment, People not in Work, Unemployment, Economic Inactivity, Claimant Count
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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