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Video Summary: Latest on the Labour Market, March 2014

Released: 19 March 2014

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Welcome to the latest on the UK labour market covering the period November 2013 to January 2014.

Firstly looking at employment, 30.19 million people aged 16 and over were in work, this is a rise of 105,000 on the quarter and a rise of 459, 000 on the year. 72.3% of people aged 16 to 64 were employed.

Turning to unemployment now, that is those not employed but seeking work, 2.33 million people aged 16 and over were out of work but seeking and available to work. This is a fall of 63,000 on the quarter and 191,000 on the year. The unemployment rate stood at 7.2%.

Now looking at the latest on earnings across Great Britain the average weekly wage in January 2014 stood at £479 per week which was a rise of 1.4% on a year earlier. If we exclude bonus payments the average weekly wage was £451 and was 1.3% higher than a year earlier.

If we now look at the public and private sectors, for the private sector the average weekly wage including bonuses was £475 and excluding bonuses it was £442. For the public sector the average wage including bonuses was £492 and excluding bonuses it stood at £485.

Looking at the growth in wages on the year, for the private sector wages were up 1.7% for total wages, and up 1.6% for wages excluding bonus payments. For the public sector wages were up 0.5% for total wages and up 0.6% for wages excluding bonus payments.

Finally this month we will look at employment in the UK public sector. 18.2% of all people in employment in the UK worked in the public sector in December 2013 and this equated to 5.5 million people working in the public sector. The top 3 public sector employers were 1.6m in the NHS, 1.5m in Education and 1.1m in Public Administration.

If we look at the change in public sector employment since the year 2000 we can see that it rose up to the middle of the decade before falling slightly. It then rose sharply as some banks were moved into the public sector and then from around 2010 it fell, and from 2012 there was a sharper fall when English colleges were reclassified out the public sector. For the most recent period there has been a further sharp fall as the privatisation of Royal Mail has seen it reclassified out of the public sector. 


Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Further information is available in the Statistical Bulletin and the data tables .

  2. Further summary stories are available from the labour market statistics page on the ONS website.

  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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