The most recent labour market figures cover the three months from June to August 2012, and most comparisons are with the data for March to May 2012. There are 29.59 million people in employment. This is up by 212,000 on the quarter, and the employment rate rose by 0.5% to 71.3% over the same period.
Unemployment, on the International Labour Organisation measure, fell by 50,000 on the quarter, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.2 % to 7.9%. The latest claimant count figure for September is down 4,000 from August 2012, but claimant count rate remains unchanged at 4.8 %.
The number of young unemployed people fell by 62,000, currently standing at 957,000.
The Department for Work and Pensions noted that 'more people are in work than ever before' and this was the first month when the employment level passed the Mar - May 2008 pre-recession peak. This is to a large extent a result of the fact that the working age population is growing - at 40,193,000 this is also a record level. The employment rate is a more useful long-term measure; at 71.3 per cent this has also recovered, but the rate was higher than this in every month from Jan - Mar 1998 to Feb - Apr 2009.
Youth unemployment is still just under a million. Long term unemployment continues to remain a problem for those unemployed for over a year, and these figures continue to increase; 897,000 people have been unemployed for over one year and 444,000 people have been unemployed for over two years - the highest level since May - July 1997.
The number of redundancies fell from 147,000 in Mar - May to 131,000 in the latest figures.
Vacancies rose 7,000 to 475,000. As a result, the number of unemployed people per job vacancy now stands at 5.3, down from the previous quarter (5.5), and the Jun - Aug 2011 quarter (5.6).
TUC analysis of employment black spots, however, continues to show very high ratios in some areas, with at least 12 people chasing every vacancy in the top 10 employment black spots:
There are now 8,129,000 people working part-time, the highest level since records began in 1992. 27.5 per cent of all those in employment are working part-time, also a record.
This was the thirteenth consecutive month when the number of self-employed workers exceeded four million, a level not previously recorded since current records began in 1992.
This was the second month when the number of temporary workers exceeded 1.6 million, a level it has not surpassed since Nov - Jan 2002.
All types of employment rose in the last quarter:
And over the last year there have also been significant rises:
Over the last quarter, employment has increased by 212,000; over half of this increase has been because of part-time work.
This is in line with the trend over the year: employment increased by 510,000, of which 353,000 was accounted for by people in part time work. Of these 353,000, 143,000 are in involuntary part-time work, which continued to increase in the last quarter rising by 15,000.
Altogether, 1.4m people are in part time work because they cannot find full time work. In addition, 649,000 are in temporary work because they could not find permanent work. The chart below compares current and pre-recession levels:
The rise in employment and fall in unemployment have not been uniform across the regions. There were falls in the unemployment rate in the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands and Wales. There was no change in the East of England, London, South East and South West.
Recent TUC analysis looking at youth unemployment and ethnicity found:
The full report is available on TUC website.
Annual inflation in the latest figures stood at 2.6 per cent, as measured by the Retail Prices Index, or 2.2 using the Consumer Price Index. In the employment statistics, the annual rate of increase for average weekly earnings (regular pay) was 2.0 per cent, meaning real wages continue to fall.
Newsletter (900 words) issued 30 Oct 2012
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printed 23 May 2013 at 04:20 hrs by 126.96.36.199