Skip to content

Statistical bulletin: Labour Market Statistics, September 2011 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 14 September 2011 Download PDF

For May to July 2011:

  • The employment rate was 70.5 per cent and there were 29.17 million employed people.
  • The unemployment rate was 7.9 per cent and there were 2.51 million unemployed people.
  • The inactivity rate was 23.3 per cent. There were 9.38 million inactive people aged from 16 to 64.
  • Total pay (including bonuses) rose by 2.8 per cent on a year earlier.
  • Regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 2.1 per cent on a year earlier.

About this release

This Statistical Bulletin contains the latest estimates for employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, claimant count, average earnings, productivity and unit wage costs, vacancies and labour disputes.

Summary of labour market statistics published on 14 September 2011

A video explaining this story is available on the ONS YouTube channel.

The unemployment rate for the three months to July 2011 was 7.9 per cent of the economically active population, up 0.3 on the quarter. The total number of unemployed people increased by 80,000 over the quarter to reach 2.51 million. This is the largest quarterly increase in unemployment since the three months to August 2009. The number of unemployed men increased by 39,000 on the quarter to reach 1.45 million and the number of unemployed women increased by 41,000 to reach 1.06 million, the highest figure since the three months to April 1988. The quarterly rise in unemployment occurred mainly among people aged from 18 to 24. The number of unemployed people in this age group rose by 77,000 over the quarter to reach 769,000.

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to July 2011 was 70.5 per cent, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over decreased by 69,000 on the quarter but increased by 24,000 on the year to reach 29.17 million. The number of men in employment fell by 71,000 on the quarter to reach 15.63 million, with falls in employment for both full-time workers (down 32,000 on the quarter) and part-time workers (down 39,000) on the quarter. There was a small increase of 2,000 in the number of women in employment to reach 13.54 million. The number of women working full-time increased by 84,000 on the quarter but the number of women working part-time fell by 83,000. The number of employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 70,000 on the quarter to reach 1.28 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The number of people employed in the public sector fell by 111,000 between March and June 2011 to reach 6.04 million. This is the largest fall in public sector employment since comparable quarterly records began in 1999. In June 2011 the public sector accounted for 20.7 per cent of all people in employment, the lowest percentage since September 2008. The number of people in private sector employment increased by 41,000 on the quarter to reach 23.13 million.

The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to July 2011 was 23.3 per cent, unchanged on the quarter. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 rose by 11,000 over the quarter to reach 9.38 million.

There were 1.58 million people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in August 2011, up 20,300 on July. The number of men claiming JSA increased by 12,200 to reach 1.06 million and the number of women claimants increased by 8,100 to reach 519,200, the highest figure since January 1996.

In the three months to July 2011, 162,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 47,000 over the quarter. This increase in redundancies occurred mainly among women.

The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for total pay (including bonuses) increased by 0.1 percentage point between the three months to June 2011 and the three months to July to reach 2.8 per cent, the highest figure since April 2010. The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for regular pay (excluding bonuses) fell by 0.2 percentage points to reach 2.1 per cent in the three months to July.

A summary of key statistics (42 Kb Pdf) is available on the website.

Employment

Employment measures the number of people in employment and differs from the number of jobs because some people have more than one job. A comparison between estimates of employment and jobs is available in an article on the website (35.3 Kb Pdf) . The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.5 per cent in the three months to July 2011, down 0.2 percentage points on the three months to April 2011 and down 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier.

Employment rate (aged 16 to 64), seasonally adjusted

Employment Rate, September 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

The employment rate for men aged from 16 to 64 was 75.5 per cent, down 0.4 percentage points on the previous quarter. The corresponding employment rate for women was 65.4 per cent, unchanged on the previous quarter.

The number of people in employment was 29.17 million in the three months to July 2011, down 69,000 from the three months to April 2011 but up 24,000 on a year earlier. The number of people in full-time employment was 21.34 million in the three months to July 2011, up 53,000 from the three months to April 2011. Of this total, 13.61 million were men and 7.73 million were women. The number of people in part-time employment was 7.83 million in the three months to July 2011, down 122,000 from the three months to April 2011. Of this total, 2.02 million were men and 5.81 million were women.

The number of people in public sector employment was 6.04 million in June 2011, down 111,000 from March 2011. The estimate for March 2011 includes 15,000 people employed on a temporary basis in connection with the 2011 Census, but there were only 1,000 people employed in these temporary jobs in June 2011. Excluding people employed in temporary Census posts, the fall in public sector employment between March and June 2011 was 97,000.  The number of people in private sector employment in June 2011 was 23.13 million, up 41,000 from March 2011.

Employment by country of birth and nationality (not seasonally adjusted)

ONS publishes estimates of employment by both country of birth and by nationality. The number of  non-UK born people in employment is greater than the number of non-UK nationals in employment, as the non-UK born series includes many UK nationals. The estimates relate to the number of people in employment rather than the number of jobs. These statistics have sometimes been incorrectly interpreted as indicating the proportion of new jobs that are taken by foreign migrants.

The number of UK born people in employment was 25.00 million in the three months to June 2011, down 50,000 on a year earlier. The number of non-UK born people in employment was 4.15 million, up 289,000 from a year earlier.
 
The employment rate for UK born people aged from 16 to 64 was 71.0 per cent in the three months to June 2011, up 0.1 percentage point on a year earlier. The corresponding employment rate for non-UK born people was 67.2 per cent, up 0.7 percentage points on a year earlier.

The number of UK nationals in employment was 26.57 million in the three months to June 2011, up 71,000 on a year earlier. The number of non-UK nationals in employment was 2.58 million, up 166,000 from a year earlier.
 
The employment rate for UK nationals aged from 16 to 64 was 70.7 per cent in the three months to June 2011, up 0.1 percentage point on a year earlier. The corresponding employment rate for non-UK nationals was 67.6 per cent, up 0.8 percentage points on a year earlier.

Employment by country of birth and nationality, changes on year (not seasonally adjusted)

Employment rate by COB, September 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Actual hours worked

Actual hours worked measures the number of hours worked in the economy. Total hours worked per week were 914.2 million in the three months to July 2011, up 3.3 million from the three months to April 2011. Average weekly hours worked in the three months to July 2011 were 31.4, up 0.2 from the three months to April 2011.

Total weekly hours, seasonally adjusted

Hours worked, September 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

 

Earnings

Earnings measures the money received in return for work done, gross of tax. The estimates relate to Great Britain and include salaries but not unearned income, benefits in kind or arrears of pay. Average total pay (including bonuses) was £464 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 total pay rose by 2.8 per cent on a year earlier, up 0.1 from the three months to June. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) was £434 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 regular pay rose by 2.1 per cent on a year earlier, down 0.2 from the three months to June.

GB Whole economy average earnings growth, seasonally adjusted

Earnings growth
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Average total pay (including bonuses) in the private sector was £460 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 total pay in the private sector rose by 3.1 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) in the private sector was £424 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 regular pay in the private sector rose by 2.2 per cent on a year earlier.

Average total pay (including bonuses) in the public sector was £476 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 total pay in the public sector rose by 2.4 per cent on a year earlier. Average total pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, was £465 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 total pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, rose by 1.6 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) in the public sector was £470 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 regular pay in the public sector rose by 2.0 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, was £463 per week in July 2011. In the three months to July 2011 regular pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, rose by 1.8 per cent on a year earlier.

Productivity and unit wage costs

Whole economy output per worker is the ratio of output and employment while unit wage costs measures the cost of wages and salaries per unit of output. Whole economy output per worker was 0.3 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2011 compared with a year earlier. Whole economy unit wage costs rose by 0.6 per cent over the same period.

Output per worker and unit wage costs, percentage change on year (seasonally adjusted)

Productivity per worker, September 2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Labour disputes (not seasonally adjusted)

Labour disputes measures disputes (ie, strikes) connected with terms and conditions of employment. In July 2011, there were 3,000 working days lost from 13 stoppages. In the twelve months to July 2011, there were 419,000 working days lost from 120 stoppages.

Working days lost cumulative 12 months totals, not seasonally adjusted

Working days lost, September 2011
Source: Labour Disputes Statistics - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Unemployment

Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work and are available to start work if a job is offered. The unemployment rate was 7.9 per cent in the three months to July 2011, up 0.3 percentage points from the three months to April 2011 and up 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier. Unemployment rates are calculated, in accordance with international guidelines, as the percentage of all economically active people in the relevant population group.

Unemployment rate (aged 16+), seasonally adjusted

Unemployment rate, September 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

The number of unemployed people was 2.51 million in the three months to July 2011, up 80,000 from the three months to April 2011 and up 44,000 from a year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 1.45 million in the three months to July 2011, up 39,000 from the three months to April 2011. The number of unemployed women was 1.06 million in the three months to July 2011, up 41,000 from the three months to April 2011. The number of people unemployed for over one year was 849,000 in the three months to July 2011, up 20,000 from the three months to April 2011.  The number of people unemployed for over two years was 415,000 in the three months to July 2011, up 30,000 from the three months to April 2011.

Youth unemployment

The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 20.8 per cent of the economically active population in the three months to July 2011, up 1.6 percentage points from the three months to April 2011. There were 973,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in the three months to July 2011, up 78,000 from the three months to April 2011.

The number of unemployed 16 to 17 year olds increased by 1,000 on the quarter to reach 203,000 and the number of unemployed 18 to 24 year olds rose by 77,000 on the quarter to reach 769,000.

In accordance with international guidelines, people in full-time education are included in the youth unemployment estimates if they are looking for employment and are available to work. Excluding people in full-time education, there were 709,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in the three months to July 2011, up 91,000 from the three months to April 2011. The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds not in full-time education was 19.9 per cent of the economically active population, up 2.2 percentage points from the three months to April 2011.

Economic inactivity

Economically inactive people are people who are not in work but who do not meet the internationally accepted definition of unemployment because they have not been seeking work and/or they are unable to start work. The economic inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 23.3 per cent in the three months to July 2011, unchanged on the three months to April 2011 but up 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 rose by 11,000 over the quarter and by 112,000 over the year, to reach 9.38 million in the three months to July 2011.

Economic inactivity rate (aged 16 to 64), seasonally adjusted

Inactivity rate, September 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Claimant count

The claimant count measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and differs from unemployment (which measures people who meet the internationally agreed definition of unemployment). The claimant count in August 2011 was 1.58 million, up 20,300 on the previous month and up 114,800 on a year earlier. The claimant count rate was 4.9 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point on the previous month and up 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier. A comparison between the claimant count (which measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance) and unemployment (which measures people who meet the internationally agreed definition of unemployment) is available in an article on the website.

Claimant count, seasonally adjusted

Claimant Count, September 2011
Source: Work and Pensions, Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Redundancies

Redundancies measures the number of people who have been made redundant or have taken voluntary redundancy. In the three months to July 2011, 162,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 47,000 from the three months to April 2011 and up 21,000 from a year earlier. The redundancy rate was 6.5 per 1,000 employees, up 1.8 from the previous quarter and up 0.8 from a year earlier.

Redundancies, seasonally adjusted

Redundancies, September 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Jobs

Workforce jobs measures the number of filled jobs in the economy. It differs from the number of people in employment as some people have more than one job. A comparison between estimates of employment and jobs is available in an article on the website (35.3 Kb Pdf) . There were 31.16 million workforce jobs in June 2011, down 102,000 over the quarter and down 41,000 on a year earlier. The sector showing the largest decrease in jobs over the quarter was public administration, etc which decreased by 44,000 to reach 1.66 million.

Workforce jobs changes on quarter between March and June 2011, seasonally adjusted

WFJ chart, September 2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Vacancies

Vacancies are defined as positions for which employers are actively seeking to recruit outside their business or organisation. There were 453,000 job vacancies in the three months to August 2011, down 6,000 on the three months to May 2011 and down 11,000 on a year earlier.

There were 1.7 vacancies per 100 employee jobs in the three months to August 2011, unchanged on both the previous quarter and the year.

 

Vacancies, seasonally adjusted

Vacancies, September 2011
Source: Vacancy Survey - Office for National Statistics

Download chart

Data tables

Data table A01 (2.45 Mb ZIP) is a multi-worksheet spreadsheet containing all of the tables which appeared in the old style Labour Market Statistical Bulletin pdf files as published by ONS before the introduction of the new website on 27 August 2011. The Index of Data tables lists all of the regularly published labour market spreadsheets. These spreadsheets can be accessed from hyperlinks within this Index.

Statistical contacts

Richard Clegg  +44 (0)1633 455400  (Briefing)

Nick Palmer  +44 (0)1633 455839  (Labour Force Survey)

Bob Watson  +44 (0)1633 455070  (Claimant count, vacancies and benefits)

David Matthews  +44 (0)1633 456756  (Workforce jobs & public sector employment)

Eric Crane  +44 (0)1633 455092  (Earnings)

Ainslie Restieaux  +44 (0)1633 45629 9  (Productivity)

James Scruton  +44 (0)1633 456724  (Labour disputes)

Email: labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Background notes

  1. In this month's Statistical Bulletin, estimates for May-July 2011 are published for the first time for the Labour Force Survey and for Average Weekly Earnings. Estimates for June-August are published for Vacancies, August for the Claimant Count and July for Labour Disputes. Estimates for June 2011 are published for the first time for workforce jobs and for public sector employment in this month's Statistical Bulletin.

  2. In next month's Statistical Bulletin the Productivity tables, published at Worksheet 17 of Table A01 (2.45 Mb ZIP) and at Table PROD01 (89 Kb Excel sheet) , will be improved. From next month’s release these tables will provide an industrial breakdown following the latest internationally agreed industrial classification (SIC 2007). Currently the industrial classification follows SIC 2003. This improvement will bring the Productivity tables into line with the Labour Force Survey, Workforce Jobs and Vacancies tables.
  3. Regional and local area labour market statistics are available from the Regional Labour Market Statistical Bulletin and the associated data tables and from the NOMIS® website.
  4. A number of videos relating to labour market statistics are available on the ONS You Tube channel. A number of stories relating to labour market statistics are available from the NOMIS® website.
  5. One indication of the reliability of the key indicators in this Statistical Bulletin can be obtained by monitoring the size of revisions.  Data tables EMP17 (340 Kb Excel sheet) UNEM04 (1.26 Mb Excel sheet) , JOBS05 (294 Kb Excel sheet) and CLA04 (1.26 Mb Excel sheet) record the size and pattern of revisions over the last five years. These indicators only report summary measures for revisions. The revised data itself may be subject to sampling or other sources of error. The ONS standard presentation is to show five years worth of revisions (60 observations for a monthly series, 20 for a quarterly series).
  6. Data table A11 (49.5 Kb Excel sheet) shows sampling variabilities, calculated on not seasonally adjusted data, for the Labour Force Survey. These sampling variability ranges represent '95 per cent confidence intervals'. It is expected that in 95 per cent of samples the range would contain the true value.

    The sampling variability of the three month average vacancies level (95 per cent confidence interval) is around +/- 1.5 per cent of that level.

    The sampling variability of the whole economy single month Average Weekly Earnings growth rates (95 per cent confidence interval) are as follows:

    +/- 0.6 percentage points excluding bonuses.
    +/- 0.7 percentage points including bonuses (April to November)
    +/- 0.9 percentage points including bonuses (December to April)

  7. Like many economic indicators, the labour market is affected by factors that tend to occur at around the same time every year; for example school leavers entering the labour market in July and whether Easter falls in March or April. In order to compare movements other than annual changes in labour market statistics, such as since the previous quarter or since the previous month, the data are seasonally adjusted to remove the effects of seasonal factors and the arrangement of the calendar. All estimates discussed in this Statistical Bulletin are seasonally adjusted except where otherwise stated.
  8. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the Media Relations Office (Tel. 0845 604 1858).

    National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. 
    © Crown Copyright 2011.

    You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit the National Archives website or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email psi@nationalarchives.gov.uk

  9. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Richard Clegg +44 (0)1633 455400 Office for National Statistics labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.