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UK — Unemployment figures not as bad as expected

20 January 2010

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the employment rate for September to November 2009 was 72.4%. This is the lowest since the winter of 1996-97 and is down 0.1 on the quarter. The number of people in employment fell by 14,000 on the quarter to reach 28.92 million.

The number of people in full-time employment fell by 113,000 on the quarter while the number of people in part-time employment increased by 99,000 on the quarter to reach a record high of 7.71 million. There were 1.03 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 46,000 on the quarter.


The unemployment rate for September to November 2009 was 7.8%, unchanged on the quarter. The number of unemployed people fell by 7,000 over the quarter to reach 2.46 million.

This is the first quarterly fall in the number of unemployed people since the three months to May 2008. The number of people unemployed for more than 12 months increased by 29,000 over the quarter to reach 631,000, the highest figure since the three months to November 1997.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) in December 2009 fell by 15,200 on the month to reach 1.61 million. This is the second consecutive monthly fall in the claimant count and the largest monthly fall since April 2007.

The inactivity rate for September to November 2009 was 21.2%, up 0.2 on the quarter but below the record high of 23.3% recorded in 1983. The number of inactive people of working age increased by 79,000 over the quarter to reach a record high of 8.05 million. This increase in inactivity was largely driven by the number of students not in the labour market which has increased by 81,000 on the quarter to reach 2.24 million, the highest since comparable records began in 1993.

The number of vacancies in the three months to December 2009 was 448,000, up 16,000 compared with the previous quarter.

Average total pay (including bonuses) was 451 Pounds per week in November 2009. In the three months to November 2009 total pay rose by 0.7% on a year earlier.
 
Average regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 424 Pounds per week in November 2009. In the three months to November 2009 regular pay rose by 1.1% compared to a year earlier. This is the lowest annual growth rate since comparable records began in 2001.

To read the full labour market statistics bulletin please click here

 

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