Press release

Grayling: Government welcomes a rise in employment and a fall in youth unemployment

A fall in unemployment including youth unemployment and rise in people in full time jobs is welcomed by Employment Minister Chris Grayling.

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

A fall in overall unemployment including youth unemployment and a big rise in the number of people in full time jobs is welcome news, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said today.

New figures published today by the Office for National Statistics show that unemployment has fallen by 36,000 on the quarter to 2.45 million.  For 16-24- year-olds not in education the figure has fallen 40,000 on the quarter to 646,000.

Ministers are clear that while these figures are encouraging their priority remains to focus on the economy, cut the deficit and create an environment where businesses can grow. To support the millions cast aside on benefits they are pressing ahead with the new Work Programme, which becomes available next month to ensure that people get the support they need to get into work.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance is up by 12,440 on the previous month but is still down 46,000 compared to the same month last year. Much of the rise can be attributed to Government’s welfare reforms - in March the number of lone parents on Jobseeker’s Allowance rose by 6,000, about the same as the rise in the overall caseload that month.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

These are welcome figures showing another rise in full-time employment in the private sector. It’s good news to see that unemployment is also going in the right direction and pleasing that unemployment has fallen for young people.

We’re determined to tackle youth unemployment, which is why we’ve taken steps to ensure that young people get the best possible support to get back to work, including lining up thousands of employers to provide work experience places and introducing apprenticeship places. From next month our new Work Programme will be available for people of all ages who need extra tailored support to get into jobs.

Last week the Government announced that thousands of people on benefits will get extra help to find a job from this August with new sector-based work academies. Work academies will give up to six weeks training, work experience and a guaranteed job interview in specific sectors where there is a high demand for well-trained staff. The first ones will focus on the hospitality and retail sector and it is expected there will be up to 50,000 places over the next two years.

Jobseekers that need extra support will be helped back into sustained employment via the new Work Programme, which comes on stream in the summer. Private and voluntary sector organisations will be investing £581 million upfront in what will be the biggest welfare to work programme this country has ever seen to provide tailored support built around the needs of individuals. Organisations will be paid by results and allowed to develop support that really addresses the needs of jobseekers.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: May 2011

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers January to March 2011. The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 14th and 8th April 2011 respectively.

**The number of people in work rose this quarter **

  • 29.24 million people were in work in January to March 2011.
  • the employment level was 118 thousand higher than the previous quarter and up 416 thousand on the year.
  • the employment rate is 70.7%, up 0.2 percentage points on the quarter, and up 0.4 points on the year.

The number of people on JSA rose this month but the trend is close to flat.  The number claiming one of the other main out-of-work benefits is improving:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,468.6 thousand in April 2011, up 12.4 thousand on the level in March 2011, but down 46 thousand on the year.
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.6%, is unchanged on the month but down 0.1 percentage points on the year.
  • In the year to November 2010, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 32,000 to 2.59 million. The most recent provisional figure for March 2011 is 2.57 million.
  • in the year to November 2010, the number of lone parents on income support fell 47,400 to 648,300. Provisional figures for March 2011 suggest the number has fallen further in recent months, to 600,000, driven by welfare reform.

ILO unemployment fell this quarter but the trend is close to flat

  • 2.46 million people were ILO unemployed in the January to March quarter, down by 36 thousand on the October to December period and down 55 thousand on the same quarter last year. 
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.7%, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter and down 0.3 percentage points on the year.

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

  • the economic inactivity level is 9.3 million, down 35 thousand on the quarter and down 74 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 23.2%, down by 0.1 points on the quarter and down 0.3 points on the year.
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.6%, down 0.3 points on the quarter and down 0.2 points on the year.

The number of vacancies and redundancies fell

  • There were 123 thousand redundancies in January to March 2011, down 24 thousand on the previous quarter and down 53 thousand on the year.__
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 469 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to April 2011, down 30 thousand on the quarter but up 3 thousand on the year.__

Total weekly pay in January to March was up by 2.3% over the year

  • growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 2.1% on the year.
Published 18 May 2011