The number of people in work fell by 43,000 when comparing January - March 2013 with the previous three months so that 29.71 million people were in work. The employment rate stood at 71.4% of all people aged 16 to 64.
Turning to unemployment, there was a rise of 15,000 in the number of unemployed people between October - December 2012 and January - March 2013. There were 2.52 million people who were looking and available to work but unable to find a job. The percentage of the labour force aged 16 and over who were unemployed was 7.8%.
However looking at vacancies for February to April 2013, there were 503,000 jobs advertised, this is the highest since October to December 2008.
Nearly 1 in every 5 unemployed people has been looking for work for over 2 years.
Splitting the 2.52 million unemployed people by how long they have been out of work and searching for a job, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) had been looking for work for over 2 years, but almost half of them (47%) had been looking for work for 6 months or less. The remainder had been looking for work for some time between 6 months and two years.
Economic inactivity rises for men but falls for women
Between October – December 2012 and January – March 2013 there were 47,000 more people who were not in the labour force. However this rise was driven by a 58,000 increase in inactive men. The number of inactive women fell by 10,000, with a continuing fall in the number of women looking after the family or home.
A small fall in the number of claimants
Even though there has been an estimated 15,000 rise in the number of unemployed people between October - December 2012 and January – March 2013, there has been a small fall of 7,300 in the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance between March and April 2013. The claimant count measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and differs from unemployment as some unemployed people do not claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, for example, a full-time student who is looking for work may be unemployed but would not usually be eligible for the allowance.
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