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UK — Unemployment reaches 8% in the three months to February 2010

21 April 2010

The latest Labour Market Statistics, published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reveals that the employment rate for the three months to February 2010 was 72.1%. The rate was down -0.3 on the quarter and it has not been lower since the three months to October 1996. The number of people in employment fell by 89,000 on the quarter to reach 28.82 million. There were falls in employment over the quarter for both full-time workers (down 59,000) and part-time workers (down 30,000). The number of employees and self-employed people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 13,000 on the quarter to reach 1.05 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The unemployment rate for the three months to February 2010 was 8%. The rate was up +0.1 on the quarter and it has not been higher since the three months to September 1996. The number of unemployed people increased by 43,000 over the quarter to reach 2.50 million, the highest figure since the three months to December 1994. The number of people unemployed for up to six months fell by 46,000, to reach 1.22 million. However, the number of people unemployed for more than twelve months increased by 89,000 over the quarter to reach 726,000, the highest figure since the three months to July 1997.


The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance (the claimant count) decreased by 32,900 between February and March 2010 to reach 1.54 million. The claimant count has fallen for four out of the last five months.

The inactivity rate for the three months to February 2010 was 21.5%. The rate has not been higher since the three months to October 2004 and it is up 0.3 on the quarter. The number of inactive people of working age increased by 110,000 over the quarter to reach a record high of 8.16 million. This increase in inactivity was largely driven by the number of students not in the labour market which increased by 71,000 on the quarter to reach 2.30 million.

The number of vacancies for the three months to March 2010 was 475,000, up 9,000 over the quarter. The earnings annual growth rate for total pay (including bonuses) was 2.3% for the three months to February 2010, up from 0.8% for the three months to January 2010. This increase in the growth rate was mainly driven by the financial sector where there have been higher bonuses than last year and a timing effect, some companies who paid their annual bonuses in January last year paid them in February this year.

The earnings annual growth rate for regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 1.7% for the three months to February 2010, up from 1.5% for the three months to January 2010.
 
To read the full Labour Market Statistics please click here

 

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