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According to the latest Labour Market Statistics published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the employment rate for the three months to March 2010 was 72%. The rate was down -0.3 on the quarter and it has not been lower since the three months to September 1996. The number of people in employment fell by -76,000 on the quarter to reach 28.83 million. The number of full-time workers fell by -103,000 over the quarter but the number of part-time workers increased by +27,000.
The number of employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by +25,000 on the quarter to reach 1.07 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.
The unemployment rate for the three months to March 2010 was 8%, up +0.2 on the quarter. The number of unemployed people increased by +53,000 over the quarter to reach 2.51 million, the highest figure since the three months to December 1994. The number of people unemployed for up to six months fell by -52,000, to reach 1.21 million. However, the number of people unemployed for more than twelve months increased by +94,000 over the quarter to reach 757,000, the highest figure since the three months to May 1997.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) decreased by -27,100 between March and April 2010 to reach 1.52 million. The claimant count has fallen for five out of the last six months. The number of claimants of up to six months duration fell by -29,200 on the month to reach 923,800 while the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for over twelve months increased by +10,700 between March and April to reach 253,000.
The inactivity rate for the three months to March 2010 was 21.5%, up +0.2 on the quarter. The number of inactive people of working age increased by 88,000 over the quarter to reach a record high of 8.17 million. Almost half of this quarterly increase in inactivity was due to the number of students not in the labour market which increased by +43,000 on the quarter to reach 2.30 million.
The number of vacancies for the three months to April 2010 was 475,000, down -6,000 over the quarter.
The earnings annual growth rate for total pay (including bonuses) was 4% for the three months to March 2010. This is the highest growth rate since June 2008 and is up from 2.5% for the three months to February 2010. This increase in the growth rate for total pay reflects higher bonuses across most sectors of the economy compared with last year.
The earnings annual growth rate for regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 1.9% for the three months to March 2010, up from 1.7% for the three months to February 2010.
To read the full Labour Market Statistics please click here