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Latest on the labour market October 2011 - Animated video podcast (YouTube)

Released: 12 October 2011

Also in this release

Slide 1 [00:00 to 00:11]

Short video from the ONS looking at the latest on the UK labour market for October 2011

For a transcript email .

Slide 2 [00:11 to 01:06]

We are going to look at the labour market estimates for the UK in June to August 2011, comparing them to March to May 2011.

Firstly, unemployment in the UK for everyone aged 16 and over was 2.57 million, up, 114,000 on the previous three months.

Employment for everyone aged 16 and over stood at 29.10 million, down 178,000, while inactivity for those aged 16 to 64 was 9.35 million, up 26,000.

Looking at September 2011 we can compare August 2011 for the claimant count, which is a count of everyone in the UK that are claiming benefits related to looking for work. Note this is not the same as everybody unemployed, as some people who are unemployed do not claim benefits.

The count stood at 1.60 million in September, up 17,500 from August.

Slide 3 [01:06 to 01:36]

We just showed that employment fell by 178,000 when comparing June to August 2011 with March to May 2011 but if we look at the changes in full-time employment this was more or less unchanged and only fell by 2,000, while part-time employment fell by 175,000, with the difference in these two estimates and the total of 178,000 because of rounding.

Therefore the fall in employment has been more or less totally driven by a fall in the number of people working part-time.

Slide 4 [01:36 to 02:19]

Now let’s focus a little more on the unemployment numbers, firstly by bringing up this chart and looking at the total number of people aged 16 and over who were unemployed in the UK and the series back to 1992.

What we see here is that unemployment reached a peak over the period, at 3.02 million in the period December 1992 to February 1993 and this followed the end of the 1990s recession that ended in the summer of 1991.

Focusing on more recent times the number of people unemployed currently stands at 2.57 million the highest point since 1994 and the recent recession actually ended around 2 years ago or in the 2nd quarter of 2009.

Slide 5 [02:19 to 02:58]

With increases in the UK population over time this will impact on the numbers of people who would be unemployed so another thing we can look at is the unemployment rate.

The rate is the total number of people unemployed divided by the economically active population which is those employed and unemployed. It shows the percentage of people who are unemployed in relation to everyone either working or looking for work.

If we plot the unemployment rate since 1992 we see a similar pattern to the level we just showed with a peak of 10.7 per cent following the end of the 1990s recession and it currently stands at 8.1 per cent, the highest rate since 1996.

Slide 6 [02:58 to 04:12]

Now we will focus on the unemployment rate for the UK and compare it to some countries across Europe.

Here is the rate for the whole of the European Union and here the rate for those countries that are in the Eurozone, which is similar but the rate in the UK is below both of these rates.

If we remove these rates and look at some selective countries this is the rate for Germany. You can see that it was increasing up until the mid 2000s as the German economy was weak and it then started to fall. There was no major rise upon the start of the global recession with this in part explained by policies such as introducing subsidies for short-term working to minimise job losses. The rate in Germany is now below that of the UK.

Looking at France their rate follows a similar pattern to that of the UK albeit slightly higher and now looking at our nearest neighbours Ireland, the unemployment rate was pretty similar in the run up to the recent recession. However with a deeper recession in Ireland, unemployment has grown faster and the rate is over 14 per cent.

The highest unemployment rate across the whole of the EU is in Spain where it stands at over 20 per cent and this is in contrast to the lowest unemployment rate which is in Austria as you can see on the graph now.

Slide 7 [04:12 to 05:10]

Finally we will look at the number of vacancies in the UK, plotting them from 2001 and they hovered at around 600,000 throughout the decade until the onset of the recent recession.

They then fell as job opportunities became limited through the recession but there are still vacancies in the UK and in July to September 2011 there were 461,000.

With the fall in vacancies and increases in unemployment in recent years it is also interesting to look at the number of people who are unemployed and therefore looking for work in relation to the number of vacancies.

Throughout most of the decade this stood at around 2.5 people unemployed for every vacancy but since the onset of the recent recession has increased.

So we have shown there are still vacancies in the UK but with increases in unemployment in June to August 2011 there were around 5.6 people unemployed for every vacancy in the UK.


Source: Office for National Statistics

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