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

Released: 17 August 2011 Download PDF

For April to June 2011

  • The employment rate was 70.7 per cent and there were 29.27 million employed people.
  • The unemployment rate was 7.9 per cent and there were 2.49 million unemployed people.
  • The inactivity rate was 23.2 per cent. There were 9.30 million inactive people aged from 16 to 64.
  • Total pay (including bonuses) rose by 2.6 per cent on a year earlier.
  • Regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 2.2 per cent on a year earlier.

About this release

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

Summary of labour market statistics published on 17 August 2011

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

The unemployment rate for the three months to June 2011 was 7.9 per cent of the economically active population, up 0.1 on the quarter. The total number of unemployed people increased by 38,000 over the quarter to reach 2.49 million. The number of people unemployed for up to six months increased by 66,000 over the quarter to reach 1.23 million. This is the largest quarterly increase in this series since the three months to June 2009. The number of unemployed men increased by 18,000 on the quarter to reach 1.45 million. The number of unemployed women increased by 21,000 on the quarter to reach 1.05 million, the highest figure since the three months to May 1988.

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to June 2011 was 70.7 per cent, unchanged on the quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over increased by 25,000 on the quarter and by 251,000 on the year to reach 29.27 million. The number of people in employment is 307,000 lower than the pre-recession peak of 29.57 million recorded for the three months to May 2008. The number of employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 83,000 on the quarter to reach 1.26 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to June 2011 was 23.2 per cent, down 0.1 on the quarter.  The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 fell by 23,000 over the quarter to reach 9.30 million.

There were 1.56 million people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in July 2011, up 37,100 on June. This is the largest monthly increase in this series since May 2009. The number of men claiming JSA increased by 21,500 to reach 1.05 million and the number of women claimants increased by 15,600 to reach 512,700, the highest figure since April 1996.

In the three months to June 2011, 154,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 32,000 over the quarter. This increase in redundancies occurred mainly among women.

In the three months to July 2011, there were 449,000 vacancies, down 22,000 over the quarter. The total number of vacancies is the lowest since the three months to November 2009. 

The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for total pay (including bonuses) was 2.6 per cent for the three months to June 2011, up from 2.3 per cent for the three months to May. The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 2.2 per cent for the three months to June 2011, up from 2.1 per cent for the three months to May. These increases in the growth rates for total pay and regular pay were mainly driven by the private sector.

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 employment and jobs estimates is available. (53.6 Kb Pdf) The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.7 per cent in the three months to June 2011, unchanged on the three months to March 2011 but up 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier.

Employment rate (aged 16 to 64), seasonally adjusted

Employment rate, August 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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The employment rate for men aged from 16 to 64 was 75.8 per cent, unchanged on the previous quarter. The corresponding employment rate for women was 65.6 per cent, down 0.1 percentage point on the previous quarter.

The number of people in employment was 29.27 million in the three months to June 2011, up 25,000 from the three months to March 2011 and up 251,000 on a year earlier. The number of people in full-time employment was 21.35 million in the three months to June 2011, up 49,000 from the three months to March 2011. Of this total, 13.65 million were men and 7.70 million were women. The number of people in part-time employment was 7.92 million in the three months to June 2011, down 24,000 from the three months to March 2011. Of this total, 2.05 million were men and 5.87 million were women.

The number of people in public sector employment was 6.16 million in March 2011, down 24,000 from December 2010. The estimate for March 2011 includes 15,000 people employed on a temporary basis in connection with the 2011 Census. Excluding temporary Census employment there were 6.15 million people employed in the public sector in March 2011, down 39,000 from December 2010.  The number of people in private sector employment in March 2011 was 23.08 million, up 104,000 from December 2010.

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 by country of birth and nationality, August 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Actual hours worked

Actual hours worked measures the number of hours worked in the economy. Total hours worked per week were 910.6 million in the three months to June 2011, down 11.3 million from the three months to March 2011. Average weekly hours worked in the three months to June 2011 were 31.2, down 0.4 from the three months to March 2011. The quarterly falls in the estimates of total hours worked and average weekly hours were partly due to an additional public holiday on 29 April 2011 (for the Royal Wedding) which occurred four days after the Easter Monday public holiday.

Total weekly hours, seasonally adjusted

Total weekly hours, August 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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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 £462 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 total pay rose by 2.6 per cent on a year earlier, up 0.3 from the three months to May. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) was £434 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 regular pay rose by 2.2 per cent on a year earlier, up 0.1 from the three months to May.

GB Whole economy average earnings growth, seasonally adjusted

Whole economy average earnings growth, August 2011
Source: Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Average total pay (including bonuses) in the private sector was £458 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 total pay in the private sector rose by 2.8 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) in the private sector was £423 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 regular pay in the private sector rose by 2.3 per cent on a year earlier.

Average total pay (including bonuses) in the public sector was £476 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 total pay in the public sector rose by 2.2 per cent on a year earlier. Average total pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, was £464 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 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 £471 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 regular pay in the public sector rose by 2.1 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, was £464 per week in June 2011. In the three months to June 2011 regular pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, rose by 1.9 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.

Labour disputes

Labour disputes measures disputes (ie, strikes) connected with terms and conditions of employment. In June 2011, there were 259,000 working days lost from 28 stoppages. In the twelve months to June 2011, there were 405,000 working days lost from 124 stoppages.

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 is calculated, in accordance with international guidelines, as the percentage of the economically active population. The economically active population is defined as those in employment plus those who are unemployed. The unemployment rate was 7.9 per cent in the three months to June 2011, up  0.1 percentage point from the three months to March 2011 and unchanged from a year earlier.

Unemployment rate (aged 16+), seasonally adjusted

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

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The number of unemployed people was 2.49 million in the three months to June 2011, up 38,000 from the three months to March 2011 and up 32,000 from a year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 1.45 million in the three months to June 2011, up 18,000 from the three months to March 2011. The number of unemployed women was 1.05 million in the three months to June 2011, up 21,000 from the three months to March 2011. The number of people unemployed for over one year was 838,000 in the three months to June 2011, down 12,000 from the three months to March 2011. The number of people unemployed for over two years was 409,000 in the three months to June 2011, up 23,000 from the three months to March 2011.

Youth unemployment

The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 20.2 per cent of the economically active population in the three months to June 2011, up 0.2 percentage points from the three months to March 2011. There were 949,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in the three months to June 2011, up 15,000 from the three months to March 2011.

The number of unemployed 16 to 17 year olds decreased by 5,000 on the quarter to reach 206,000 and the number of unemployed 18 to 24 year olds rose by 20,000 on the quarter to reach 744,000.

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 671,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in the three months to June 2011, up 25,000 from the three months to March 2011. The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds not in full-time education was 18.8 per cent of the economically active population, up 0.5 percentage points from the three months to March 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 23.2 per cent in the three months to June 2011, down 0.1 percentage point from the three months to March 2011 and down 0.2 percentage points from a year earlier. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 fell by 23,000 over the quarter and by 44,000 over the year, to reach 9.30 million in the three months to June 2011.

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

Economic inactivity rate, August 2011
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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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 July 2011 was 1.56 million, up 37,100 on the previous month and up 98,600 on a year earlier. The claimant count rate was 4.9 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point on the previous month and up 0.3 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.

Claimant count, seasonally adjusted

Claimant count, August 2011
Source: Work and Pensions, Office for National Statistics

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Key out of work benefits

Key out of work benefits includes those benefits paid to people subject to labour market activation policies by the Department for Work and Pensions. In February 2011 the number of people claiming key out of work benefits (not seasonally adjusted) was 4.86 million, down 236,400 from February 2010.

Redundancies

Redundancies measures the number of people who have been made redundant or have taken voluntary redundancy. In the three months to June 2011, 154,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 32,000 from the three months to March 2011 and up 4,000 from a year earlier. The redundancy rate was 6.2 per 1,000 employees, up 1.2 from the previous quarter and up 0.1 from a year earlier.

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 (53.6 Kb Pdf) . There were 31.35 million workforce jobs in March 2011, up 121,000 over the quarter and up 113,000 on a year earlier. The sector showing the largest increase in jobs over the quarter was information and communication which increased by 50,000 to reach 1.19 million.

Workforce jobs changes on quarter between December 2010 and March 2011, seasonally adjusted

Workforce jobs, August 2011
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Vacancies

Vacancies are defined as positions for which employers are actively seeking to recruit outside their business or organisation. There were 449,000 job vacancies in the three months to July 2011, down 22,000 on the three months to April 2011 and down 28,000 on a year earlier. The estimates for the three months to April 2011 include 8,000 vacancies for temporary jobs in connection with the 2011 Census but there were no such vacancies in the three months to July 2011. Excluding these Census vacancies, there was a fall of 13,000 vacancies between the three months to April and the three months to July.

There were 1.7 vacancies per 100 employee jobs in the three months to July 2011, down 0.1 on both the previous quarter and the year.

Vacancies, seasonally adjusted

Job vacancies, August 2011
Source: Vacancy Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Background notes

  1. In this month's Statistical Bulletin, estimates for April-June 2011 are published for the first time for the Labour Force Survey and for Average Weekly Earnings. Estimates for May-July are published for Vacancies, July for the Claimant Count and June for Labour Disputes. There are no new estimates for workforce jobs or public sector employment in this month's Statistical Bulletin.

    On 30 June 2011 ONS published the 2010 mid-year population estimates for the UK. These population estimates have been used as new denominators for the key out of work benefit proportions shown at Table BEN01 (52.5 Kb Excel sheet) , resulting in minor revisions to these estimates from February 2010 onwards.

    There have been revisions to the redundancies by industry series, shown at Table RED02 (2.39 Mb Excel sheet) , for January-March 2011. These revisions have resulted from the correction of a minor processing error. There has been no revision to the estimate for total redundancies.

  2. There are no major developments planned for next month’s release.

     

     

  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 YouTube channel at. A number of stories relating to labour market statistics are available from Nomis®
     

  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 UNEM04 (1.25 Mb Excel sheet) , JOBS05 (278.5 Kb Excel sheet) and CLA04 (1.25 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 (47.5 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 March)

  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 June 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 series 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.

    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.gsi.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 Labour Market (Briefing) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Nick Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 Labour Force Survey (Labour Force Survey) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Bob Watson +44 (0)1633 455070 Labour Market (Claimant count, vacancies and benefits) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
David Matthews +44 (0)1633 456756 Labour Market (Workforce jobs & public sector employment) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Eric Crane +44 (0)1633 455092 Labour Market (Earnings) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Ainslie Restieaux +44 (0)1633 456299 Labour Market (Productivity) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
James Scruton +44 (0)1633 456724 Labour Market (Labour disputes) labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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