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Animated Video: Latest on the Labour Market, June 2012

Released: 20 June 2012

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Slide 1

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

Slide 2

It will cover February to April, compared to November to January 2012.

We will show the level and the rate, and unemployment was down 51,000 to 2.61 million, with a rate of 8.2 per cent.

Employment for everyone aged 16 and over was 29.28 million, up 166,000, and 70.6 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were in work. Inactivity was 9.23 million, down 69,000, and around 23.0 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 May 2012, was up 8,000 on April 2012 to stand at 1.60 million. And the claimant count rate stood at 4.9 per cent.

Slide 3

This month we will focus on employment, and more specifically differences in public and private sector employment.

Bringing up this chart we can firstly see the quarterly increase in employment, which was 166,000. Over the period private sector employment actually increased by 205,000 and public sector employment decreased by 39,000.

We can also look at the changes over a longer time period and using this chart we will see how employment has changed comparing February to April 2012 with a year earlier. Employment overall was 42,000 higher and private sector employment had increased by around 320,000, while public sector employment was down 278,000.

We will now look in a little more detail at the areas across the country where public sector employment has fallen most.

Slide 4

Starting with this chart we will look at changes across the countries of the UK. Of the 278,000 fall, around 250,000 was in England, 5,000 in Wales, 28,000 in Scotland and around 5,000 in Northern Ireland.

Focusing a little more on England using this chart we can see there have been falls across all of the different regions of England with the largest fall in the South West of the country.

Slide 5

So we have shown that employment is increasing in the UK and finally we will look at the number of vacancies available.

Using this chart we can see that generally vacancies tended to hover around 600,000 in the UK in the years preceding the economic downturn in 2008. As the labour market situation weakened during the financial crisis the number of vacancies fell and employment started to fall.

Since 2009 there has been very little change in the number of vacancies, hovering around 450,000. In March to May 2012 the number of vacancies within the UK was estimated to be 465,000.

Currently there are around 2.61 million people unemployed.

So in the UK there are currently around 5.7 people unemployed for every vacancy


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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