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.