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Video Summary: Latest on the Labour Market, June 2013

Released: 12 June 2013

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Welcome to the latest on the UK Labour Market.

Focusing firstly on employment, between February and April 2013 there were 29.76 million people aged 16 and over in work, an increase of 24,000 on the quarter and an increase of 432,000 compared with the same period in 2012. Overall, 71.5% of people aged 16 to 64 were employed.

Looking at employment by age group using this graph we can see, for those aged 16 to 24, 51% are employed. One of the reasons for a lower employment rate than for some of the other age groups is that many young people are in full time education. The age group with the largest percentage working is 35 to 49 where 82% of people were employed. Focusing now on those over 65, we can see that 9% of this age group were employed, and the number in work was over 1 million for the first time. This is partly through more people staying on at work and more people of this age group in the population.

Turning our attention to unemployment, there were 2.51million people aged 16 and over who were out of work but seeking and available to work, a marginal fall of 5,000 on the previous three months, and a fall of 88,000 on the same period a year earlier, and 7.8% of the labour force aged 16 and over could not find a job.

Moving up to look at the Claimant Count in May 2013, 1.51 million people aged 18 and over were claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is a benefit related to looking for work, a fall of 8,600 on April 2013, and a fall of 87,600 on the same month last year. Of those claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, two thirds were men.

Moving down to look at those not in the labour force, known as the economically inactive, 8.99 million people aged between 16 and 64 were either not looking for work or not available to work, an increase of 40,000 on the quarter and a fall of 199,000 on the year.

Looking at vacancies, we can see that there were 516,000 job vacancies were recorded between March and May 2013, which was the highest number since the end of 2008.

Now if we go back to employment, we will now look in a little more detail, this month at employment in the public sector in the UK. There were 5.7 million people working in the public sector in the UK in April 2013 accounting for 19.1% of all people in employment. However, this percentage varies across the country. The highest percentage of 28.1% was in Northern Ireland and the lowest in London at 16.6%.

Moving across we can see that the top three public sector employers in terms of numbers, were the NHS, Education and public administration.

Moving down we can look at the change in public sector employment numbers since 2000, and it was generally rising up until around 2005 but between 2008 and 2009 there was a sharp rise due to the movement of some banks into the public sector following the financial crisis.

More recently we have seen a large fall in the number at the start of 2012 as some English colleges were reclassified out of the public sector due to administration changes.

Looking more closely at the number since 2010, we can see a decline in the number working in the public sector with the two orange bars showing the period of the English college reclassification. If we fade on these grey bars that show public sector employment employees excluding any that were employed in the aforementioned English colleges, we can see a gradual decline.

That was the latest on the UK labour market. 


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.

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