Press release

Figures reveal five million on out of work benefits as Grayling pledges to make work pay

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

Employment Minister Chris Grayling today welcomed a further fall in unemployment.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling today welcomed a further fall in unemployment, but said the UK still faced a significant economic challenge and Government would remain focused on restoring the economy and supporting private sector jobs growth.

The figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that while the number of people in employment has risen over the last quarter, this was largely driven by a rise in the employment of non UK nationals.

Ministers are also concerned that the total number of people on the three main out of work benefits, almost 5 million, has remained static, underlining the need for the radical overhaul of the welfare system.

Employment Minister, Chris Grayling said:

These figures are a small step in the right direction, though we absolutely do not underestimate the scale of the economic challenge we face.

The fact that there are still five million people on out of work benefits underlines the scale of Britain’s welfare challenge and shows that we are right to radically overhaul our welfare system. Our reforms will mean that people are always financially better off in work; people will no longer be trapped in a life on benefits.

From early next year we will start full scale re-testing of Incapacity Benefit claimants and our Work Programme will come into force to ensure that long term unemployed people and others who need it have tailored support to move them into sustained work.

Vacancies increased again this month with a total of 481,000 unfilled vacancies in the economy, an increase of 9,000 on the quarter.

Figures unveiled by Chris Grayling earlier in the week, showed that there are 264,000 households in the UK where no one has ever worked. This is a further indictment that benefit dependency has become entrenched into society where whole families have been cast aside with no help to get them into work.

The new Coalition Government’s welfare reforms include bringing in a new Work Programme, early next year, which will tackle the problems of worklessness by offering tailored support to help people get into employment by assessing their needs on an individual basis.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: August 2010

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers April to June 2010. The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 8th and 2nd July respectively.

The State Pension Age for women will increase to 65 between now and 2020. After consulting, ONS has decided to change the headline working age employment rate and the headline inactivity rate and level from 16-59 for women and 16-64 for men to 16-64 for both sexes.

The number of people in work rose this quarter

  • 29.02 million people were in work in April to June.
  • the employment level in April-June was 184 thousand higher than in the previous three months, and up 104 thousand on the year.
  • the employment rate is 70.5%, up 0.3 percentage points on the quarter and down 0.3 percentage points on the year.

The number of people on JSA fell this month but there are nearly 5 million people in total claiming one of the key out-of-work benefits:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,461.2 thousand in July 2010, down 3.8 thousand on the level in June, and down 120.4 thousand on the year. 
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is unchanged on the month and down 0.4 percentage points on the year.
  • in the year to February 2010, the number of people claiming employment support allowance/incapacity benefits rose by 11,220 to 2.61 million. More recent provisional estimates for June 2010 suggest the position has since remained broadly stable.
  • in the year to February 2010, the number receiving lone parent benefits fell 44,020 to 692.0 thousand. Provisional figures for June 2010 suggest the number of claimants has fallen further in recent months, to 675,000.

ILO unemployment has fallen this quarter

  • 2.46 million people were ILO unemployed in the April to June quarter, down by 49 thousand on the January to March period and up 23 thousand on the same quarter last year. 
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.8%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter and unchanged on the year.

The level of economic inactivity is down on the quarter and up on the year

  • the economic inactivity level is 9.35 million, down 49 thousand on the quarter and up 172 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 23.4%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter and up 0.3 percentage points on the year.
  • The rise in inactivity over the last year is partly the result of more inactive students. Excluding students, the inactivity rate is 17.8%, unchanged on the quarter, up 0.1 points over the last year.

The number of vacancies and the number of redundancies both rose this quarter

  • There were 152 thousand redundancies in April to June, down 25 thousand on the previous quarter and 116 thousand on the previous year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 481 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to July 2010, up 9 thousand on the quarter and 51 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in April-June was up by 1.3% over the year

  • growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 1.6% on the year.