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Statistical bulletin: Labour Market Statistics, December 2012 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 12 December 2012 Download PDF

For August to October 2012:

  • The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.2 per cent, up 0.1 on May to July 2012 and up 0.9 on a year earlier. There were 29.60 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 40,000 on May to July 2012 and up 499,000 on a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.2 on May to July 2012 and down 0.5 on a year earlier. There were 2.51 million unemployed people, down 82,000 on May to July 2012 and down 128,000 on a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 22.6 per cent, up 0.1 on May to July 2012 but down 0.6 on a year earlier. There were 9.07 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, up 60,000 on May to July 2012 but down 249,000 on a year earlier.
  • Total pay (including bonuses) rose by 1.8 per cent compared with August to October 2011. Regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.7 per cent compared with August to October 2011.

In this bulletin

This Statistical Bulletin contains the latest estimates for employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, claimant count, average earnings, labour productivity, vacancies and labour disputes. The estimates are used by a wide range of users, particularly across government and the media, to monitor developments in the labour market.

All estimates discussed in this Statistical Bulletin are for the United Kingdom and are seasonally adjusted except where otherwise stated. Most of the figures discussed in this Statistical Bulletin are obtained from surveys of households or businesses and are therefore estimates, not precise figures.

See the Sampling Variability and Seasonal Adjustment sections of this Statistical Bulletin for further details. This Statistical Bulletin is accompanied by data tables in spreadsheet format. The pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin includes 24 summary data tables. See the Data Tables section of this Statistical Bulletin for further details.

Regional estimates are available from the Regional Labour Market release.

New this month:

  • Labour Force Survey and Average Weekly Earnings estimates for August to October 2012,

  • Claimant count estimates for November 2012,

  • Vacancies estimates for September to November 2012,

  • Labour disputes estimates for October 2012,

  • Public sector employment estimates for September 2012, and

  • Workforce jobs estimates for September 2012.

Summary of labour market statistics published on 12 December 2012

A short video explaining this story is available.

Between May to July 2012 and August to October 2012:

  • The number of people in full-time employment increased by 44,000,

  • The number of people in part-time employment fell by 4,000,

  • The number of unemployed people fell by 82,000,

  • The number of economically inactive people, aged from 16 to 64, increased by 60,000.

Between August to October 2007 and August to October 2012: 

  • The number of people in full-time employment fell by 421,000,

  • The number of people in part-time employment increased by 709,000,

  • The number of unemployed people increased by 879,000,

  • The number of economically inactive people, aged from 16 to 64, fell by 52,000.

Changes in the number of people in the labour market between August to October 2007 and August to October 2012, seasonally adjusted

Changes over 5 years
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for August to October 2012 was 71.2 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point on May to July 2012 and up 0.9 on a year earlier. The employment rate of 71.2 per cent, for those aged from 16 to 64, is lower than the pre-recession peak of 73.0 per cent recorded for March to May 2008.

The number of people in employment aged 16 and over increased by 40,000 between May to July and August to October 2012 to reach 29.60 million. This is the smallest quarterly increase in the number of people in employment since the increase of 39,000 between August to October 2011 and November 2011 to January 2012.

The unemployment rate for August to October 2012 was 7.8 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.2 on May to July 2012 and down 0.5 on a year earlier. The number of unemployed people aged 16 and over fell by 82,000 between May to July and August to October 2012 to reach 2.51 million. This is the largest quarterly fall in the number of unemployed people since the fall of 86,000 between December 2000 to February 2001 and March to May 2001.

Between May to July 2012 and August to October 2012:

  • The number of unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in full-time education increased by 18,000 to reach 319,000, the highest figure since records began in 1984.

  • The number of unemployed 16 to 24 year olds not in full-time education fell by 90,000 to reach 626,000, the lowest figure since December 2008 to February 2009.

  • The number of unemployed people aged 25 and over fell by 10,000 to reach 1.56 million.

Changes in number of unemployed people between May to July 2012 and August to October 2012, seasonally adjusted

Unemployment changes
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. FTE = Full-time education.
  2. The “Not in Full-time education” series includes people in part-time education and/or some form of training.

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The economic inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for August to October 2012 was 22.6 per cent, up 0.1 on May to July 2012 but down 0.6 on a year earlier. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 increased by 60,000 between May to July and August to October 2012 to reach 9.07 million. This quarterly increase in economic inactivity was mainly due to an increase of 67,000 in the number of people who were not active in the labour market because they were students to reach 2.22 million.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 3,000 between October and November 2012 to reach 1.58 million.

Between August to October 2011 and August to October 2012, total pay for employees in Great Britain rose by 1.8 per cent. This annual growth rate for earnings was lower than the increase of 2.7 per cent in the Consumer Prices Index between October 2011 and October 2012.

Employment

Employment measures the number of people in paid work 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 published on the website. A short video explaining the basic labour market concepts of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity is available on the ONS YouTube channel. Employment estimates are available at Tables 1 and 3 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables A02 (1.18 Mb Excel sheet) and EMP01 (1.24 Mb Excel sheet) .

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.2 per cent for August to October 2012, up 0.1 percentage points from May to July 2012 and up 0.9 from a year earlier.

Employment rate (aged 16 to 64), seasonally adjusted

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

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The employment rate for men aged from 16 to 64 was 76.5 per cent for August to October 2012, up 0.2 percentage points from May to July 2012. The corresponding employment rate for women was 66.1 per cent, down 0.1 from May to July 2012.

The number of people in employment was 29.60 million for August to October 2012, up 40,000 from May to July 2012 and up 499,000 on a year earlier. The number of people in full-time employment was 21.48 million for August to October 2012, up 44,000 from May to July 2012. The number of people in part-time employment was 8.12 million, down 4,000 from May to July 2012.

Between May to July 2012 and August to October 2012:

  • The number of employees increased by 47,000 to reach 25.12 million,

  • The number of self-employed people fell by 23,000 to reach 4.20 million,

  • The number of unpaid family workers fell by 3,000 to reach 111,000,

  • The number of people on government supported training and employment programmes classified as being in employment (excluding those classified as employees and self-employed) increased by 19,000 to reach 171,000.

Changes in people in employment between May to July 2012 and August to October 2012, seasonally adjusted

Changes in people in employment
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Unpaid family workers are people who work in a family business who do not receive a formal wage or salary but benefit from the profits of that business.
  2. The Government supported training and employment programmes series does not include all people on these programmes; it only includes people engaging in any form of work, work experience or work-related training. Some people on these programmes are included in the employees and self-employed series.

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Public and private sector employment

Public sector employment measures the number of people in paid work in the public sector. The public sector comprises central government, local government and public corporations. Estimates of public sector employment are obtained from information provided by public sector organisations. Private sector employment is estimated as the difference between total employment, sourced from the Labour Force Survey, and public sector employment. Public and private sector employment estimates are available at Tables 4, 4(1) and 4(2) of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables EMP02 (74.5 Kb Excel sheet) , EMP03 (58 Kb Excel sheet) and EMP04 (39.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

The number of people employed in the public sector was 5.75 million in September 2012, down 24,000 from June 2012. The number of people employed in the private sector in September 2012 was 23.86 million, up 65,000 from June 2012.

Between September 2011 and September 2012, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 324,000 and the number of people employed in the private sector increased by 823,000. These large annual movements reflect the reclassification of some educational bodies from the public sector to the private sector. See Background Notes to the September 2012 Statistical Bulletin for further details.

Excluding this reclassification, the number of people employed in the public sector fell by 128,000 between September 2011 and September 2012 and the number of people employed by the private sector increased by 627,000. Further information on public sector employment is available in the Public Sector Employment release.

Changes in number of people employed in public and private sectors between September 2011 and September 2012, seasonally adjusted

Public & Private sectors
Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey, Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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For September 2012, within the public sector:

  • 1.55 million people were employed in the National Health Service, down 3,000 from June 2012,

  • 1.08 million people were employed in public administration, down 11,000 from June 2012,

  • 1.49 million people were employed in education, down 8,000 from June 2012,

  • 444,000 people were employed in HM Forces and the police, down 6,000 from June 2012.

Public sector employment by industry for September 2012, seasonally adjusted

Public sector employment by industry
Source: Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Employment by country of birth and nationality, not seasonally adjusted (first published on 14 November 2012)

ONS publishes estimates of employment by both nationality and by country of birth. 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. Estimates of employment by country of birth and nationality are available at Tables 8 and 8(1) of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables EMP05 and EMP06 (169.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

The number of UK nationals in employment was 27.07 million for July to September 2012, up 455,000 from a year earlier. The number of non-UK nationals in employment was 2.62 million, up 75,000 from a year earlier.

The number of UK born people in employment was 25.42 million for July to September 2012, up 317,000 from a year earlier. The number of non-UK born people in employment was 4.27 million, up 208,000 from a year earlier.

Employment by country of birth and nationality, changes between July to September 2011 and July to September 2012, not seasonally adjusted

Employment by country of birth and nationality
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. Hours worked estimates are available at Tables 7 and 7(1) of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables HOUR01 (456 Kb Excel sheet)  and HOUR02 (1.53 Mb Excel sheet) .

Total hours worked per week were 949.0 million for August to October 2012, up 14.2 million from May to July 2012 and up 24.4 million on a year earlier. Average weekly hours worked for August to October 2012 were 32.1, up 0.4 from May to July 2012 and up 0.3 from a year earlier. The estimates for total hours worked and average hours worked can be affected by the arrangement of public holidays. The quarterly increase in hours worked between May to July and August to October 2012 was affected by one more public holiday than usual in the May to July period (due to the Diamond Jubilee).

Total weekly hours, seasonally adjusted

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

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Earnings

Earnings measures money paid to employees in return for work done, before tax and other deductions from pay. The estimates relate to Great Britain and include salaries but not unearned income, benefits in kind or arrears of pay. As well as pay settlements, the estimates reflect bonuses, changes in the number of paid hours worked and the impact of employees paid at different rates joining and leaving individual businesses. The estimates also reflect changes in the overall structure of the workforce; for example, fewer low paid jobs in the economy would have an upward effect on the earnings growth rate. Average Weekly Earnings estimates are available at Tables 15, 15(1) and 16 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data table EARN01 (461.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

In October 2012:

  • Average total pay (including bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £471 per week.

  • Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) for employees in Great Britain was £443 per week.

Between August to October 2011 and August to October 2012:

  • Total pay for employees in Great Britain rose by 1.8 per cent. This annual growth rate of 1.8 per cent was the same as the growth rate in total pay between July to September 2011 and July to September 2012.

  • Regular pay for employees in Great Britain rose by 1.7 per cent. This annual growth rate of 1.7 per cent was 0.2 percentage points lower than the growth rate in regular pay between July to September 2011 and July to September 2012.

Between October 2011 and October 2012, the Consumer Prices Index increased by 2.7 per cent.

Whole economy average earnings and consumer prices annual growth rates

Earnings
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. This chart shows monthly estimates for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) from October 2007 to October 2012 and three month average estimates for Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) from August to October 2007 to August to October 2012.
  2. The CPI series is for the United Kingdom and is compiled from prices data based on a large and representative selection of individual goods and services. The AWE series are for Great Britain and are sourced from the Monthly Wages and Salaries Survey.
  3. The AWE series are seasonally adjusted. The CPI series is not seasonally adjusted.

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Between August to October 2011 and August to October 2012:

  • Total pay and regular pay in the private sector rose by 1.7 per cent.

  • Total pay in the public sector rose by 2.5 per cent, while regular pay rose by 2.3 per cent.

  • Total pay and regular pay in the public sector excluding financial services rose by 2.2 per cent.

The public and private sector growth rates from June 2012 have been affected by the reclassification of English Further Education Corporations and Sixth Form College Corporations. From June 2012 onwards these educational bodies are classified to the private sector, but for earlier time periods they are classified to the public sector. ONS estimates that, if the reclassification had not occurred, the public sector single month growth rates from June 2012 onwards would be between 0.6 and 0.8 percentage points lower and the corresponding private sector growth rates would be between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points higher. Further information regarding this reclassification is available in an article published on the website on 31 May 2012.

Labour productivity (first published on 28 September 2012)

Labour productivity measures the amount of real (inflation adjusted) economic output that is produced by a unit of labour input (in terms of workers, jobs and hours worked). Whole economy output per worker fell by 1.1 per cent between the first and second quarters of 2012. Whole economy unit labour costs increased by 0.3 per cent between these quarters. Labour productivity estimates are available at Table 17 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data table PROD01 (80 Kb Excel sheet) . Further information is available in the Labour Productivity Statistical Bulletin published on 28 September 2012.

Output per worker and unit labour costs, percentage change on quarter (seasonally adjusted)

Productivity
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Labour disputes (not seasonally adjusted)

These estimates measure disputes (ie, strikes) connected with terms and conditions of employment. Labour disputes estimates are available at Table 20 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data table LABD01 (113 Kb Excel sheet) .

In October 2012, there were 3,000 working days lost from 18 stoppages. In the twelve months to October 2012, there were 1.24 million working days lost from 123 stoppages.

Working days lost cumulative 12 months totals, not seasonally adjusted

Labour disputes
Source: Labour Disputes Statistics - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. There was a one day strike on 30 November 2011 called by several trade unions in connection with a dispute over proposed changes to pension schemes for some public sector workers.
  2. Estimates of working days lost for the dispute mentioned in Note 1 do not include days lost due to people unable to attend work due to industrial action taken by others.
  3. There was a further one day strike on 30 May 2012 in connection with a dispute over proposed changes to pension schemes for some public sector workers.

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Unemployment

Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. A short video explaining the basic labour market concepts of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity is available on the ONS YouTube channel. Unemployment estimates are available at Table 9 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data table UNEM01 (1.99 Mb Excel sheet) .

The unemployment rate was 7.8 per cent for August to October 2012, down 0.2 percentage points from May to July 2012 and down 0.5 from a year earlier. Unemployment rates are calculated, in accordance with international guidelines, as the number of unemployed people divided by the economically active population (those in employment plus those who are unemployed).

Unemployment rate (aged 16+), seasonally adjusted

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

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The number of unemployed people was 2.51 million for August to October 2012, down 82,000 from May to July 2012 and down 128,000 from a year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 1.43 million for August to October 2012, down 61,000 from May to July 2012. The number of unemployed women was 1.08 million for August to October 2012, down 21,000 from May to July 2012.

For August to October 2012:

  • 1.16 million people had been unemployed for up to six months, down 20,000 from May to July.

  • 442,000 people had been unemployed for between six and twelve months, down 62,000 from May to July.

  • 904,000 people had been unemployed for over one year, unchanged from May to July.

  • 449,000 people had been unemployed for over two years, up 6,000 from May to July.

Unemployment by duration for August to October 2012, seasonally adjusted

Unemployment by duration
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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International comparisons of unemployment rates are available at Table 19 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data table A10 (286.5 Kb Excel sheet) . The unemployment rate for the European Union (EU) was 10.7 per cent of the economically active population for October 2012. The EU country with the highest unemployment rate was Spain, at 26.2 per cent, and the EU country with the lowest unemployment rate was Austria, at 4.3 per cent. The unemployment rate for Japan was 4.2 per cent for October 2012. The unemployment rate for the United States was 7.9 per cent for October 2012 and 7.7 per cent for November 2012.

Unemployment rates for the United Kingdom, United States and the European Union, seasonally adjusted

International unemployment
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics, Eurostat

Notes:

  1. The unemployment rates for the UK and the United States are for those aged 16 and over. The unemployment rate for the EU is for those aged from 15 to 74.
  2. This chart shows monthly estimates for the EU and for the United States from October 2007 to October 2012 and three month average estimates for the UK from August to October 2007 to August to October 2012.

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Young people in the labour market

Estimates for young people in the labour market are available at Table 14 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data table A06 (2.12 Mb Excel sheet) .

For August to October 2012:

  • There were 3.71 million 16 to 24 year olds in employment, up 13,000 from May to July.

  • There were 2.60 million economically inactive 16 to 24 year olds (most of whom were in full-time education), up 45,000 from May to July.

  • There were 945,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds, down 72,000 from May to July.

The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 20.3 per cent for August to October 2012, down 1.3 percentage points from May to July. In accordance with international guidelines, unemployment rates are calculated as the number of unemployed people divided by the economically active population (those in employment plus those who are unemployed). Increasing numbers of young people going into full-time education reduces the size of the economically active population and therefore increases the unemployment rate.

In accordance with international guidelines, people in full-time education (FTE) are included in the youth unemployment estimates if they have been looking for work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks. Excluding people in FTE, there were 626,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds for August to October 2012, down 90,000 from May to July. The corresponding unemployment rate was 17.9 per cent of the economically active population for 16 to 24 year olds not in FTE, down 2.4 percentage points from May to July.

Young people (aged 16 to 24) in the labour market for August to October 2012, seasonally adjusted

Young people
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. FTE = Full-time education.
  2. The “Not in Full-time education” series include people in part-time education and/or some form of training.

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Claimant count

The claimant count measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and differs from unemployment (which measures people who meet the internationally agreed definition of unemployment). Claimant count estimates are available at Tables 10, 10(1) and 11 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables CLA01 (304 Kb Excel sheet) , CLA02 (454 Kb Excel sheet) and CLA03 (68 Kb Excel sheet) .

The claimant count for November 2012 was 1.58 million, down 3,000 from October 2012 and down 20,900 from a year earlier. The claimant count rate was 4.8 per cent, unchanged from October 2012 but down 0.1 from a year earlier.

Claimant count, seasonally adjusted

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

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In November 2012, excluding a small number of clerically processed claims for which an age breakdown is not available, there were:

  • 430,400 people aged from 18 to 24 claiming JSA, down 4,200 from October 2012,

  • 885,600 people aged from 25 to 49 claiming JSA, up 1,400 from October 2012,

  • 255,700 people aged 50 and over claiming JSA, down 400 from October 2012.

JSA claimants (excluding clerical claims) by age and sex for November 2012, seasonally adjusted

JSA by age and sex
Source: Office for National Statistics, Work and Pensions

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The claimant count can be affected by changes to the overall benefits system. For example, since 24 November 2008 several changes in the eligibility rules for Lone Parent Income Support (LPIS) have resulted in fewer lone parents (predominantly women) being able to claim that benefit resulting in more lone parents claiming JSA while they look for work. This has affected the claimant count since December 2008. The number of lone parents claiming JSA in Great Britain (not seasonally adjusted) increased from 9,300 in November 2008 to 147,100 in October 2012.

Another change to the benefits system which has affected the claimant count since April 2011 has been a re-assessment, by the Department for Work and Pensions, of claimants of Incapacity Benefit (IB) resulting in some people who have been declared ineligible for IB claiming JSA while they look for work. The effect of this exercise on monthly changes in the claimant count is likely to be small.

The claimant count for people claiming benefits for longer durations has also been affected by the introduction of the Work Programme in June 2011.  Previous employment initiatives saw a break in individual's JSA claims, leading to an individual having a succession of shorter duration claims. Under the Work Programme individuals are more likely to remain on JSA for a single unbroken duration.

Comparison between unemployment and the claimant count

Unemployment is measured according to international guidelines specified by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Unemployed people in the UK are:

  • Without a job, have actively sought work in the last four weeks and are available to start work in the next two weeks,

  • Out of work, have found a job and are waiting to start it in the next two weeks.

People who meet these criteria are classified as unemployed irrespective of whether or not they claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or other benefits. The estimates are derived from the Labour Force Survey and are published for three month average time periods.

The claimant count measures the number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits; since October 1996 this has been the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). Some JSA claimants will not be classified as unemployed. For example, people in employment working fewer than 16 hours a week can be eligible to claim JSA depending on their income.

The chart below and the associated spreadsheet compare quarterly movements in unemployment and the claimant count for the same three month average time periods. The unemployment estimates shown in this comparison exclude unemployed people in the 16 to 17 and 65 and over age groups as well as unemployed people aged from 18 to 24 in full-time education. This provides a more meaningful comparison with the claimant count than total unemployment because people in these population groups are not usually eligible to claim JSA.

When three month average estimates for the claimant count are compared with unemployment estimates for the same time periods and for the same population groups (people aged from 18 to 64 excluding 18 to 24 year olds in full-time education), unemployment fell by 90,000 and the claimant count fell by 20,000, between May to July 2012 and August to October 2012.

Quarterly changes in unemployment and the claimant count (aged 18 to 64), seasonally adjusted

Unemployment and the Claimant Count
Source: Office for National Statistics, Work and Pensions

Notes:

  1. Unemployment estimates are sourced from the Labour Force Survey (a survey of households). The unemployment figures in this chart, and the associated spreadsheet, exclude unemployed people aged from 18 to 24 in full-time education.
  2. Claimant count estimates are sourced from administrative data from Jobcentre Plus (part of the Department for Work and Pensions).

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Economic inactivity

Economically inactive people are not in employment but do not meet the internationally accepted definition of unemployment because they have not been seeking work within the last four weeks and/or they are unable to start work within the next two weeks. A short video explaining the basic labour market concepts of employment, unemployment and economic inactivity is available on the ONS YouTube channel. Economic inactivity estimates are available at Tables 1 and 13 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables A02 (1.18 Mb Excel sheet) and INAC01 (2.39 Mb Excel sheet) .

The economic inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 22.6 per cent for August to October 2012, up 0.1 percentage points from May to July 2012 but down 0.6 from a year earlier. There were 9.07 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, up 60,000 from May to July 2012 but down 249,000 from a year earlier.

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

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

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For August to October 2012:

  • There were 2.22 million economically inactive students aged from 16 to 64, up 67,000 from May to July but down 71,000 from a year earlier.

  • There were 2.06 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive due to long-term sickness, down 39,000 from May to July and down 98,000 from a year earlier.

  • There were 1.43 million economically inactive people who had retired before reaching the age of 65, up 8,000 from May to July but down 126,000 from a year earlier.

The annual fall in the number of economically inactive people who had retired before reaching the age of 65 reflects changes to the state pension age for women. The age at which women reach state pension age has been gradually increasing from 60 since April 2010, resulting in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.

Economic inactivity by reason (aged 16 to 64) for August to October 2012, seasonally adjusted

Economic inactivity by reason
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Redundancies

The redundancies estimates measure the number of people who have been made redundant or have taken voluntary redundancy. Redundancies estimates are available at Tables 23 and 24 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables RED01 (188 Kb Excel sheet) and RED02 (2.41 Mb Excel sheet) .

For August to October 2012, 147,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 5,000 from May to July 2012 but down 15,000 from a year earlier. The redundancy rate was 5.9 per 1,000 employees, up 0.2 from May to July 2012 but down 0.6 from a year earlier.

Redundancies, seasonally adjusted

Redundancies
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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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 published on the website. Jobs estimates are available at Tables 5 and 6 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables JOBS01 (51 Kb Excel sheet) and JOBS02 (316.5 Kb Excel sheet) .

There were 31.95 million workforce jobs in September 2012, up 43,000 from June 2012 and up 532,000 on a year earlier. The sector showing the largest increase in jobs between September 2011 and September 2012 was administrative and support service activities which increased by 145,000 to reach 2.59 million. The sector showing the largest fall in jobs over this period was construction which fell by 65,000 to reach 1.99 million.

Workforce jobs changes between September 2011 and September 2012, seasonally adjusted

Workforce jobs
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. Vacancies estimates are available at Tables 21, 21(1) and 22 of the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin and at data tables VACS01 (46 Kb Excel sheet) , VACS02 (220 Kb Excel sheet) and VACS03 (70 Kb Excel sheet) .

There were 489,000 job vacancies for September to November 2012, up 8,000 from June to August 2012 and up 30,000 on a year earlier. There were 1.8 vacancies per 100 employee jobs for September to November 2012, unchanged from June to August 2012 but up 0.1 on a year earlier.

Vacancies, seasonally adjusted

Vacancies
Source: Vacancy Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Data tables

The Index of Data Tables lists, and briefly describes, all of the regularly published labour market spreadsheets and includes hyperlinks from which the spreadsheets can be accessed. 

The pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin includes 24 summary data tables. A list of these 24 tables, and the corresponding EXCEL spreadsheets, is available;

  • In html format,

  • In pdf format from the "Index of Tables" page in the pdf version of this Statistical Bulletin.

Revisions

Estimates for the most recent time periods are subject to revision due to the receipt of late and corrected responses to business surveys and revisions to seasonal adjustment factors which are re-estimated every month. Estimates are subject to longer run revisions, on an annual basis, resulting from reviews of the seasonal adjustment process. Estimates derived from the Labour Force Survey (a survey of households) are usually only revised once a year. Further information is available in the Labour Market Statistics Revisions Policy (36.7 Kb Pdf) .

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 (615.5 Kb Excel sheet) , UNEM04 (1.55 Mb Excel sheet) , JOBS06 (391 Kb Excel sheet) and CLA04 (1.53 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).

Sampling variability

Data table A11 (63.5 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 variabilities of the whole economy single month Average Weekly Earnings growth rates (95 per cent confidence intervals) are as follows:

+/- 0.6 percentage points excluding bonuses,

+/- 0.7 percentage points including bonuses (April to November), and

+/- 0.9 percentage points including bonuses (December to March).

Seasonal adjustment

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.

Background notes

  1. This month’s release

    There have been revisions to estimates of public and private sector employment back to the start of the time series in 1999. These revisions take account of late information, updates to seasonal factors, and re-referencing of survey estimates. In addition to these routine revisions (which occur every year in December) there have been further revisions, back to 2002, resulting from an improved method of estimating the number of people employed in public sector education in England. Information about this improved method is available in an article published on the website.

  2. Next month’s release

    There will be revisions, back to February 2011, to estimates of benefits proportions appearing at data table BEN01 (62.5 Kb Excel sheet) . These revisions will result from taking on board the latest population estimates.

  3. Special Events

    ONS has published commentary, analysis and policy on "Special Events" which may affect statistical outputs. For full details go to the Special Events page on the ONS website.

  4. Publication policy

    Publication dates up to the end of 2013 are available in the Background Notes to the June 2012 edition of this Statistical Bulletin. A list of the job titles of those given pre-publication access (35 Kb Pdf) to the contents of this Statistical Bulletin is available on the website.

  5. 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.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Richard Clegg +44 (0)1633 455400 Labour Market Statistics Briefing labour.market@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Nick Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 Labour Force Survey nicholas.palmer@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Bob Watson +44 (0)1633 455070 Claimant Count and Benefits bob.watson@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Emily Carless +44 (0)1633 455717 Workforce Jobs, Public Sector Employment and Vacancies emily.carless@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Eric Crane +44 (0)1633 455092 Average Weekly Earnings eric.crane@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Mark Franklin +44 (0)1633 455981 Labour Productivity mark.franklin@ons.gsi.gov.uk
James Scruton +44 (0)1633 456724 Labour Disputes james.scruton@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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