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UK — Latest quarterly increase in unemployment is smallest since spring 2008

17 December 2009
 

The latest labour market statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the increase in the number of unemployed people is the smallest since spring 2008. The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance has fallen on the month and there has been a slight increase in the number of vacancies.

The employment rate for August to October 2009 was 72.5%, unchanged on the quarter. The number of people in employment increased by 53,000 on the quarter to reach 28.93 million.

The number of women in part-time employment increased by 122,000 on the quarter to reach a record high of 5.84 million, but the number of men in part-time employment was unchanged and there were quarterly falls in the numbers of both men and women in full-time employment.

There were just over one million employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job. This is the highest figure since records for this series began in 1992 and it is up 34,000 on the quarter.

The unemployment rate for August to October 2009 was 7.9%, unchanged on the quarter. The number of unemployed people increased by 21,000 over the quarter to reach 2.49 million, the highest figure since the three months to March 1995.

However, this is the smallest quarterly increase in the number of unemployed people since March-May 2008. The number of people unemployed for up to six months fell by 98,000 on the quarter to reach 1.31 million. The number of people unemployed for more than 12 months increased by 49,000 over the quarter to reach 620,000, the highest figure since the three months to November 1997. The unemployment rate for 18 to 24 year olds increased by 0.9 percentage points on the quarter to reach 18.4%, the highest figure since records for this series began in 1992.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) in November 2009 decreased by 6,300 on the month to reach 1.63 million. This is the first monthly fall in the claimant count since February 2008. The number of vacancies in the three months to November 2009 was 432,000, up slightly compared with the previous quarter.

Average earnings, excluding bonuses, for August to October 2009 were 1.7% higher than a year previously. The annual growth rate, excluding bonuses, for the public sector was 2.7%, while the corresponding figure for the private sector was 1.4%.
 
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