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UK – Unemployment continues to fall

14 August 2013

UK unemployment fell -0.2% between April and June 2013, compared with the same period last year, according to official figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Between April and June there were 2.51 million unemployed people, down -4,000 from January to March 2013, and down -49,000 from a year ago. 

Total UK wide unemployment currently stands at 7.8%, well below the European Union unemployment rate of 10.9% and the Eurozone average of 12.1%, as reported by Eurostat for June. Unemployment was highest in the North East (10.3%) and lowest in the South East and London (6%). Unemployment in England stands at 7.8%, in Scotland 7.2%, in Wales 8.2%, and in Northern Ireland at 7.5%.

Employment figures also improved, with 29.78 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up +69,000 from January to March 2013, and up +301,000 from a year ago. The employment rate for those aged between 16 and 64 was 71.5%. Regionally employment in England was 71.7%, in Scotland 72.1%, in Wales 69.4%, and in Northern Ireland 66.3%.

The ONS data report shows that total pay rose +2.1% compared with April and June 2012. Regular pay rose by +1.1% over the same period.

Flora Lowther, head of research at Adzuna, commented: “The jobs market is building up a real head of steam which is helping drive the UK’s economic rehabilitation. Confidence is coursing through the labour market, with employers increasingly convinced the worst of the economic downturn is in the past.  Firms are creating more vacancies, although the majority of them are in more affluent southern areas.  45% of current vacancies are in London and the South East even though only 27% of the UK population live there, suggesting the north isn’t sharing in the fruits of recovery but being starved of the jobs needed to help close the economic north-south divide.”

Kevin Green, CEO of Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), commented: “The important indicators seem to be moving in the right direction. More jobs have been created and more people are in work. The UK labour market has performed incredibly well over the last few years, meaning we are not experiencing the devastating levels of mass unemployment seen elsewhere in Europe. Our data from recruiters indicates employment levels will increase for the rest of 2013. However, we should not be complacent as we still have worryingly high numbers of long term unemployed and young people out of work.”

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