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UK – Unemployment falls and job vacancies rise

17 July 2013

The number of unemployed people in the UK fell to 2.51 million in July, a reduction of 72,000 compared to a year ago, according to the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) Labour Market Statistics report. There were 529,000 job vacancies between April and June 2013, an increase of 56,000 compared with a year ago and the highest number since September to October 2008.

“Today’s figures are a positive sign that the countdown to the UK jobs market ‘blast off’ has started. They also support the [Recruitment & Employment Confederation] jobs data from earlier this month, which showed that the number of people being placed in permanent jobs is at a two-year high and demand for staff [is] at a three-year high,” said Tom Hadley, director of policy and professional services at REC.

The unemployment rate between March and May 2013 was 7.8%. Between May and June 2013, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 21,200 to reach 1.48 million, a drop of 117,700 year-on-year. The number of JSA claimants is at its lowest since March 2011. 

The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds was 20.9% for March to May 2013, down 0.2 percentage points from December 2012 to February 2013. “Youth unemployment is an on-going issue, especially now when thousands of new jobseekers are set to leave education and enter the world of work.  Although there is good news that the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds fell in the last quarter, the total number of young people in employment also dropped. Recruiters tell us that making the first step and accessing the jobs market can seem like an insurmountable barrier to young and inexperienced jobseekers. The government needs to ensure that these young people are coming into the jobs market with the skills and awareness that employers are looking for. Developing a careers guidance network that is fit for purpose would be a good start,” added Mr Hadley. 

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