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

Released: 12 October 2011 Download PDF

For June to August 2011:

  • The employment rate was 70.4 per cent and there were 29.10 million employed people.
  • The unemployment rate was 8.1 per cent and there were 2.57 million unemployed people.
  • The inactivity rate was 23.3 per cent. There were 9.35 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 1.8 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, labour productivity, vacancies and labour disputes.

Summary of labour market statistics published on 12 October 2011

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

The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to August 2011 was 70.4 per cent, down 0.3 percentage points on the quarter. The number of people in employment aged 16 and over fell by 178,000 on the quarter and by 47,000 on the year to reach 29.10 million. This is the largest quarterly fall in the number of people in employment since the three months to July 2009. The number of people working part-time fell by 175,000 over the quarter to reach 7.78 million. This is the largest quarterly fall in the number of part-time workers since comparable records began in 1992. The number of full-time workers fell by 2,000 on the quarter to reach 21.32 million. The number of people aged from 16 to 24 in employment fell by 78,000 on the quarter to reach 3.67 million. The number of people aged 65 and over in employment fell by 74,000 on the quarter to reach 822,000.

The unemployment rate for the three months to August 2011 was 8.1 per cent of the economically active population, up 0.4 on the quarter. The last time the unemployment rate was higher was in the three months to July 1996. The total number of unemployed people increased by 114,000 over the quarter (the largest quarterly increase since the three months to July 2009) to reach 2.57 million. The number of unemployed people has not been higher since the three months to October 1994. The unemployment rate for people aged from 16 to 24 increased by 1.6 percentage points over the quarter to reach 21.3 per cent of the economically active population for that age group. The number of unemployed people aged from 16 to 24 increased by 74,000 over the quarter to reach 991,000; this figure includes 269,000 people in full-time education who were looking for part-time work. The unemployment level and rate for people aged from 16 to 24 are the highest since comparable records began in 1992.

The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for the three months to August 2011 was 23.3 per cent, virtually unchanged on the quarter. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 rose by 26,000 over the quarter to reach 9.35 million.

There were 1.60 million people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) in September 2011. This is up 17,500 on August, but the number of people claiming JSA for up to six months fell by 9,100 between August and September to reach 995,700.

In the three months to August 2011, 150,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 6,000 over the quarter.

The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for total pay (including bonuses) fell by 0.1 percentage point between the three months to July 2011 and the three months to August to reach 2.8 per cent. The whole economy earnings annual growth rate for regular pay (excluding bonuses) fell by 0.3 percentage points to reach 1.8 per cent in the three months to August.

A summary of key statistics (41.9 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 published on the website (35.3 Kb Pdf) on 14 September 2011. The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.4 per cent in the three months to August 2011, down 0.3 percentage points on the three months to May 2011 and 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 75.4 per cent, down 0.6 percentage points on the previous quarter. The corresponding employment rate for women was 65.4 per cent, down 0.1 percentage point on the previous quarter.

The number of people in employment was 29.10 million in the three months to August 2011, down 178,000 from the three months to May 2011 and down 47,000 on a year earlier. The number of people in full-time employment was 21.32 million in the three months to August 2011, down 2,000 from the three months to May 2011. Of this total, 13.62 million were men and 7.70 million were women. The number of people in part-time employment was 7.78 million in the three months to August 2011, down 175,000 from the three months to May 2011. Of this total, 1.96 million were men and 5.82 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
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 916.5 million in the three months to August 2011, up 5.5 million from the three months to May 2011. Average weekly hours worked in the three months to August 2011 were 31.5, up 0.4 from the three months to May 2011.

Total weekly hours, seasonally adjusted

Hours worked
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 £463 per week in August 2011. In the three months to August 2011 total pay rose by 2.8 per cent on a year earlier, down 0.1 from the three months to July. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) was £435 per week in August 2011. In the three months to August 2011 regular pay rose by 1.8 per cent on a year earlier, down 0.3 from the three months to July.

GB whole economy average earnings annual growth rates, seasonally adjusted

AWE
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 August 2011. In the three months to August 2011 total pay in the private sector rose by 3.0 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) in the private sector was £424 per week in August 2011. In the three months to August 2011 regular pay in the private sector rose by 1.8 per cent on a year earlier.

Average total pay (including bonuses) in the public sector was £476 per week in August 2011. In the three months to August 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 £467 per week in August 2011. In the three months to August 2011 total pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, rose by 1.7 per cent on a year earlier. Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) in the public sector was £470 per week in August 2011. In the three months to August 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 August 2011. In the three months to August 2011 regular pay in the public sector, excluding financial services, rose by 2.0 per cent on a year earlier.

Labour productivity

Whole economy output per worker is the ratio of output and employment while unit labour costs is the ratio of total labour costs to output. Whole economy output per worker was unchanged between the first and second quarters of 2011. Whole economy unit labour costs increased by 0.3 per cent between the first two quarters of 2011.

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)

Labour disputes measures disputes (ie, strikes) connected with terms and conditions of employment. In August 2011, there were 4,000 working days lost from ten stoppages. In the twelve months to August 2011, there were 423,000 working days lost from 119 stoppages.

Working days lost cumulative 12 month totals, not seasonally adjusted

Strikes
Source: Labour Disputes Statistics - Office for National Statistics

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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 8.1 per cent in the three months to August 2011, up 0.4 percentage points from the three months to May 2011 and up 0.3 percentage points 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
Source: Labour Force Survey - Office for National Statistics

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The number of unemployed people was 2.57 million in the three months to August 2011, up 114,000 from the three months to May 2011 and up 113,000 from a year earlier. The number of unemployed men was 1.50 million in the three months to August 2011, up 71,000 from the three months to May 2011. The number of unemployed women was 1.07 million in the three months to August 2011, up 44,000 from the three months to May 2011. The number of people unemployed for over one year was 867,000 in the three months to August 2011, up 60,000 from the three months to May 2011.  The number of people unemployed for over two years was 423,000 in the three months to August 2011, up 40,000 from the three months to May 2011.

Youth unemployment

The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 21.3 per cent of the economically active population for that age group in the three months to August 2011, up 1.6 percentage points from the three months to May 2011. There were 991,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in the three months to August 2011, up 74,000 from the three months to May 2011.

The number of unemployed 16 to 17 year olds increased by 3,000 on the quarter to reach 205,000 and the number of unemployed 18 to 24 year olds rose by 70,000 on the quarter to reach 785,000.

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 721,000 unemployed 16 to 24 year olds in the three months to August 2011, up 78,000 from the three months to May 2011. The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds not in full-time education was 20.2 per cent of the economically active population, up 2.0 percentage points from the three months to May 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 August 2011, virtually unchanged on the three months to May 2011 but up 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 rose by 26,000 over the quarter and by 75,000 over the year, to reach 9.35 million in the three months to August 2011.

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

Inactivity rate
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 (JSA) and differs from unemployment (which measures people who meet the internationally agreed definition of unemployment). The claimant count can be affected by changes to the overall benefits system. For example, from late 2008 until mid-2011 changes in eligibility rules for Lone Parent Income Support 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. From April 2011, the Dept. for Work and Pensions has been re-assessing 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 the claimant count so far is likely to have been small.

The claimant count in September 2011 was 1.60 million, up 17,500 on the previous month and up 129,200 on a year earlier. The claimant count rate was 5.0 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

JSA
Source: Work and Pensions, Office for National Statistics

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Redundancies

Redundancies measures the number of people who have been made redundant or have taken voluntary redundancy. In the three months to August 2011, 150,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews, up 6,000 from the three months to May 2011 and from a year earlier. The redundancy rate was 6.0 per 1,000 employees, up 0.2 from both the previous quarter and 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 (35.3 Kb Pdf) on 14 September 2011. 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

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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 462,000 job vacancies in the three months to September 2011, up 1,000 on the three months to June 2011 and up 5,000 on a year earlier. There were 1.8 vacancies per 100 employee jobs in the three months to September 2011, virtually unchanged on both the previous quarter and the year.

Vacancies, seasonally adjusted

Vacancies
Source: Vacancy Survey - Office for National Statistics

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Data tables

Data table A01 (2.5 Mb ZIP) is a multi-worksheet spreadsheet, in a printer-friendly format, 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.

Background notes

  1. This month’s Statistical Bulletin
    The Productivity tables, published at Worksheet 17 of Table A01 (2.5 Mb ZIP) and at Table PROD01 (82 Kb Excel sheet) , have been improved in this month’s release. These tables now provide an industrial breakdown following the latest internationally agreed industrial classification (SIC 2007). Previously the industrial classification followed SIC 2003. This improvement brings the Productivity tables into line with the Labour Force Survey, Workforce Jobs and Vacancies tables. A further improvement to the tables has been implemented with the introduction of estimates for whole economy unit labour costs to replace whole economy unit wage costs.

  2. Next month’s Statistical Bulletin
    In next month’s Bulletin, there will be revisions to the seasonally adjusted Average Weekly Earnings estimates going back to the start of the series in 2000 as a result of the annual review of the seasonal adjustment process.

  3. Regional and local area labour market statistics
    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. Labour market statistics videos and short stories
    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 NOMIS®.

  5. Revisions
    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 (353.5 Kb Excel sheet) , UNEM04 (1.27 Mb Excel sheet) , JOBS05 (294 Kb Excel sheet) and CLA04 (1.28 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. Sampling variability
    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 April)

  7. 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.

  8. Publication policy
    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 http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/ 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 Briefing richard.clegg@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Nick Palmer +44 (0)1633 455839 Labour Force Survey nick.palmer@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Jonathan Knight +44 (0)1633 455253 Claimant count, vacancies and benefits jonathan.knight@ons.gsi.gov.uk
David Matthews +44 (0)1633 456756 Workforce jobs & public sector employment david.matthews@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Eric Crane +44 (0)1633 455092 Earnings eric.crane@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Ainslie Restieaux +44 (0)1633 456299 Labour productivity ainslie.restieaux@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 .
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.