News story

5 things you need to know about employment statistics

Statistics out today show there are more people in work than ever before. Here are answers to some of the key questions.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Question mark

1. Is the rise in employment down to full-time or part-time jobs?

Employment rose 588,000 on the year and 95% of this – 560,000 – came from full-time-work. Part-time employment rose 28,000 on the year.

2. These statistics are from ONS. Who are they and where do they get their information from?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and is the recognised national statistical institute for the UK. It is independent from ministers. All figures are produced in line with the ‘Code of Practice for Official Statistics’ and relevant quality standards.

The employment figures come from the monthly Labour Force Survey, which the ONS oversees. This is the largest household survey in the UK and people are asked questions about their employment status, such as whether they are in work and how many hours they work. So, whether someone has a job or not is based on an individual’s own responses to the survey.

3. What do we mean by full-time employment?

In most cases, full-time workers will be working at least 30 hours per week. This is also based on individual responses to the survey: people are counted as full-time if they say they are full-time.

4. There are a record number of people in work, what type of jobs are they?

There are all sorts of different types of jobs available, including entry level jobs for young people who are joining the labour market and for people already in work looking to move up the career ladder.

Since the labour market recovery began, two-thirds of the growth in employment has come from people in managerial, professional and technical jobs. And over the past year, average private sector pay excluding bonuses rose 2%.

5. How do benefit sanctions affect the claimant count?

So long as someone is available for and actively seeking work, a Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant will remain in the claimant count.

Someone who isn’t available for and actively seeking work shouldn’t be able to claim JSA and wouldn’t be included in these figures.

Published 17 December 2014