Between November 2011-January 2012 and February-April 2012, unemployment and economic inactivity fell and employment increased.
The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to April 2012 was 70.6 per cent, up 0.3 on the quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over increased by 166,000 on the quarter to reach 29.28 million, the largest quarterly increase since the three months to August 2010. The number of people in employment was 291,000 lower than the pre-recession peak of 29.57 million recorded in March-May 2008.
The number of full-time workers increased by 82,000 to reach 21.32 million and the number of part-time workers increased by 83,000 to reach 7.97 million. The number of people (excluding unpaid family workers and government supported trainees) who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 25,000 on the quarter to reach 1.41 million. The number of people employed in the private sector increased by 205,000 to reach 23.38 million but the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 39,000 to reach 5.90 million, the lowest figure since March 2003. The number of self-employed people increased by 84,000 over the quarter to reach 4.17 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.
The unemployment rate for the three months to April 2012 was 8.2 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.2 on the quarter. The total number of unemployed people fell by 51,000 over the quarter, but increased by 185,000 on the year, to reach 2.61 million. The quarterly fall in total unemployment was due to a fall of 99,000 in the number of people unemployed for up to six months to reach 1.21 million, while the number of people unemployed for more than six months increased by 49,000 to reach 1.41 million. The number of unemployed men fell by 49,000 on the quarter to reach 1.49 million while the number of unemployed women was little changed on the quarter at 1.12 million.
The economic inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to April 2012 was 23.0 per cent, down 0.2 on the quarter. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 fell by 69,000 over the quarter, and by 139,000 over the year, to reach 9.23 million. This quarterly fall in economic inactivity was mainly due to a fall of 62,000, to reach 2.25 million, in the number of people who were not active in the labour market because they were students.
In May 2012 there were 1.60 million people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). This was up 8,100 compared with April, but was 4,700 lower than the figure for March. The number of JSA claimants increased by 96,300 between May 2011 and May 2012 but has been broadly flat since October 2011.
The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for total pay was 1.4 per cent in the three months to April 2012. Bonus payments in April 2012 were slightly higher than in April 2011, partly reflecting a change in the timing of bonus payments. However over the five month period from December 2011 to April 2012 bonus payments were lower than in the same period a year previously. The majority of bonus payments, particularly in the financial sector, are usually made between December and April.
Source: Office for National Statistics
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