Skip to content

Video Summary: Latest on the Labour Market, September 2012

Released: 12 September 2012

Slide 1

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


Slide 2

It will cover May to July 2012, compared to February to April 2012.

We will show the level and the rate, and unemployment was down 7,000 to 2.59 million, with a rate of 8.1 per cent.

Employment for everyone aged 16 and over was 29.56 million, up 236,000, and 71.2 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were in work. Inactivity was 9.01 million, down 181,000, and around 22.4 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were inactive.

Finally, the claimant count, a count of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, in August 2012, was down 15,000 on July 2012 to stand at 1.57million. And the claimant count rate stood at 4.8 per cent.


Slide 3

Now we will look at changes in employment in the public and private sectors.

Starting with public sector and private sector employment levels we can see, using this table, that in June 2012 the public sector employed 5.66million people and the private sector employed 23.90million.

 If we now use this graph to analyse the changes in employment in the two sector between March and June 2012 we can see that the number employed in the public sector decreased by 235 thousand, whereas private sector employment increased by 471 thousand.

However, over the past few months there has been a reclassification of some educational bodies from the public sector to the private sector. This means that some of the increases and decreases seen are due to this reclassification rather than actual changes in employment levels. If we exclude this reclassification, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 39,000 between March and June 2012 and the number of people employed by the private sector increased by 275,000.


Slide 4

Finally we will focus on working hours and we will start with this graph which illustrates the total weekly working hours in millions of those employed, and the red line shows the trend over the past 20 years.

The peak over this period was seen between January and March 2008 where the average total number of weekly working hours was 949.3million. The low point over the last 20 years was seen between November 1993 and January 1994 where the average total number of hours worked per week was 829.3million.

The blue rectangle illustrates the sudden dip in weekly hours worked due to the economic recession, and the arrow shows that current figures are now broadly the same as they were at the start of the recession.

If we now turn our attention to this new graph which illustrates the average hours worked per week, we can see, using the green line, that over the last 20 years there has been a decrease in average hours worked. This is a reflection of more people working part time as well as more flexible working conditions. The peak over this period was seen between November 1994 and January 1995 where the average number of hours worked per week was 33.5. The low point over the last 20 years was seen over the periods March to May 2011 and April to June 2011 where the average number of hours worked was 31.3.

Now if we move this graph to one side so that we can consider how full time and part time workers contribute to the overall average hours worked per week, using the two graphs on the right hand side. The top graph shows full time workers and using the red line we can see that there has been a general downwards trend in the average number of hours worked per week up until the start of the recession and since then the level remains fairly constant. The bottom graph shows part time workers, and as shown by the blue line, there has been a gradual increase up until the start of the recession as since then the level has been fairly constant.

 

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 www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    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.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.