Press release

Grayling: revitalising the economy is crucial to get Britain working

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

The Government has welcomed the fall in the latest unemployment figures today.

The Government has welcomed the fall in the latest unemployment figures today but has warned that there is a long way to go in securing the recovery, dealing with the deficit and generating sustainable job growth.

Ministers also warned that one of the key challenges will be to ensure that the five million people who have been left behind on benefits receive the right support to get back into the labour market.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

There is still a huge amount of work to do to revitalise the economy and create an environment where businesses are growing and employing people again. 

What concerns me in today’s figures is that while there are more jobs in the economy there is too little evidence of them being taken up by the five million people who were stranded on out-of-work benefits under the previous Government. While there are fewer people on Jobseeker’s Allowance this month, the numbers claiming other benefits remains stubbornly high, and many of these people have been dependent on benefits for years. That’s why we are pressing ahead with the Work Programme to give these people the support they need when they need it.

Ministers have already started to tackle the problem of long term benefit dependency and worklessness by announcing that from October this year some people in Burnley and Aberdeen who claim incapacity benefit will be reassessed to see if they can work. The rest of the country will follow in 2011.

They are also pressing ahead to ensure the new Work Programme goes live  in 2011, which will offer personalised support to people on a range of benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: July 2010

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers March 2010 to May 2010.  The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 10th and 4th June respectively.

The number of people in work rose this quarter

  • 28.98 million people were in work in March to May.
  • the employment level in March-May was 160 thousand higher than in the previous three months, after falling by 90 thousand the previous quarter.  Employment is 5 thousand lower than in the same quarter last year.
  • the employment rate is 72.3%, up 0.3 on the quarter but down 0.6 percentage points on the year.

The number of people on JSA fell this month but there are around 5 million people claiming one of the main out-of-work benefits:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,460.1 thousand in June 2010, down 20.8 thousand on the level in May, and down 100.1 thousand on the year.
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is down 0.1 percentage points on the month and down 0.3 percentage points on the year.
  • in the year to November 2009, the number of people claiming incapacity benefits rose by 12,870 to 2.62 million.  More recent provisional estimates for May 2010 suggest the position has since remained broadly stable.
  • in the year to November 2009, the number receiving lone parent benefits fell 33,260 to 695.7 thousand.  Provisional figures for May 2010 suggest the number of claimants has fallen further in recent months, to 675,000.

ILO unemployment has fallen this quarter

  • 2.47 million people were ILO unemployed in the March to May quarter, down by 34 thousand on the December to February period but up 92 thousand on the same quarter last year.
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.8%, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter but up 0.3 percentage points on the year.

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

  • the economic inactivity level is 8.10 million, down 62 thousand on the quarter but up 180 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 21.3%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter but up 0.4 percentage points on the year.
  • The rise in inactivity over the last year is partly the result of more inactive students.  Excluding students, inactivity as a proportion of the working age population is 15.4%, up 0.1 percentage points over the last year.

The number of vacancies rose this quarter and the number of redundancies is broadly flat

  • There were 160 thousand redundancies in March to May, down 2 thousand on the previous quarter and down 144 thousand on the previous year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 486 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to June 2010, up 10 thousand on the quarter and up 52 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in March-May rose by 2.7% over the year

  • growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 1.8% on the year.