Labour market LIVE from Learning and Work Institute 20 January 2016
- Unemployment is 1,675,000, down 38,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down 99,000) and the unemployment rate is 5.1%,down 0.1 percentage points on last month and down 0.3 percentage points on last quarter.
- The number of claimant unemployed is 785,929, down 4,269 on last month, and the claimant rate is 2.3%.
- The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 1,020,000, down 29,000 on the quarter, representing 5.8% of the youth population (down 0.3 percentage points).
- Youth unemployment (including students) is 628,000, down 56,000 on the quarter.
- There are 2.2 unemployed people per vacancy. Learning and Work Institute estimates this figure may fall slightly next month.
- The employment rate is 74% (up 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.5 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure)
Learning and Work Institute comment
The labour market figures published on 20 January point to a continuing improvement in the UK labour market with employment rising and unemployment falling substantially
Duncan Melville, Chief Economist for the Learning and Work Institute, commented:
“The increase in employment and the fall in unemployment in the three months to September to November were both substantial. This continues the pattern seen in recent months. The latest figures for vacancies also increased in the period October to December 2015, following a period when this level had been broadly stable. In short, today’s statistics point to an improvement in overall employment prospects in the UK.
This improvement has not fed through into rising wage growth or increased inflationary pressures. The growth in average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses, a better measure of underlying trends than total pay) moderated for the fourth month in the row and stood at 1.9% in November. Inflation (on the CPI measure) has been around zero for nearly the whole of 2015. These figures indicate that the Governor of the Bank of England was right in his suggestion yesterday that there is no need for interest rates to rise any time soon.”
Employment rose by 267,000 between September to November 2015 and June to August 2015. In the last 12 months employment has grown by 588,000.
Unemployment fell by 99,000 between September to November 2015 and June to August 2015 and the unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in the quarter the lowest level for 10 years.
The fall in the claimant count takes account of normal seasonal effects but adjusted figures are not published for local areas. The actual number of claimants, nationally, fell by 1,600 between November and December, compared to the adjusted fall of 4,300. Therefore, it should not be surprising that figures for local areas will show smaller falls compared to the national picture.
The proportion of people leaving the claimant count (or the ‘leavers rate’) has risen. At 18.7%, but it is still well below the level in early 2015 of 20.7%. The number of new claims has fallen . Jobseeker’s Allowance off-flow rates for JSA claimants of most durations increased and retention on JSA reduced. Off-flow rates remain at historically high levels.
Youth unemployment showed a quarterly fall. There are still 628,000 unemployed young people, and 415,000 (5.8% of the youth population) who are unemployed and not in full-time education.
The proportion of unemployed young people (not counting students) who are not claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance and therefore are not receiving official help with job search is now 56.5% and has risen by over 25 percentage points since October 2012.
A total of 89,000 were counted as in employment while on ‘government employment and training programmes’, where the Office for National Statistics continues to count Work Programme (etc.) participants as ‘in employment’ by default. This number fell 17,000 this quarter. Self-employment rose 121,000 this quarter and remains at a historically high proportion of employment. Employee numbers rose 160,000 in the quarter. Involuntary part-time employment fell this quarter by 21,000 to 1.2 million, 15.0% of all part-time workers.The proportion remains more than double that in 2004