Today's employment figures - what's the news?

17 July 2013

In this piece we have a look at the numbers behind today's Labour Market Statistics release which contains the latest estimates for employment, unemployment, economic inactivity, the claimant count, average earnings, labour productivity, vacancies and labour disputes.

The figures relate to the UK as whole for the period from March to May 2013.

How many people are unemployed?

Unemployed people are jobless, and have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks. People who are out of work, have found a job, and are waiting to start it in the next two weeks are also counted as unemployed.

Currently 2.51 million are unemployed; down 57,000 from December 2012 to February 2013 and down 72,000 from a year earlier.

What is the unemployment rate?

The unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.

Currently 7.8% of the economically active population is unemployed. This has gone down by 0.2 percentage points from December 2012 to February 2013. It is down 0.3% from last year.

How many people are economically inactive?

This refers to individuals who are unemployed but have not been actively seeking work in the last month, and wouldn't be available to start work in the next two weeks. Find out more about economic inactivity here.

Currently 9.04 million individuals are economically inactive. This number is up by 87,000 since the last quarter.

The inactivity rate for those aged 16 to 64 is 22.5%, up 0.2 percentage points from December 2012 to February 2013, and down 0.4 from a year earlier.

What about long-term unemployment?

Long-term unemployment figures look at individuals who have been out of work for long periods, usually for over 12 months

Currently 915,000 have been out of work for over a year - up by 32,000 since the last quarter - the highest number since 1996.

How many people are employed?

A total 29.7 million people are in employment, up by 16,000 from December 2012 to February 2013 and up 336,000 from a year earlier.

What is the current employment rate?

The employment rate - 71.4% - is down 0.1% from the last quarter, but up 0.6 from a year earlier.


Flickr image courtesy of Sean MacEntee

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