Press release

Jobs boost welcomed as unemployment falls for fifth month

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

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith today welcomed a fifth consecutive fall in unemployment.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith today welcomed a fifth consecutive fall in unemployment as official figures showed an extra 201,000 people in employment compared to the previous quarter.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed a fall in unemployment of 46,000 between April and June compared to the previous three months. There are now 2.56million people unemployed - the lowest for almost a year. There was little change in the number of people unemployed for 12 months or longer.

There are also an extra 201,000 people in work compared to the previous quarter, 130,000 of whom are in full-time jobs. A modest increase of 16,000 in the number of temporary workers suggests the increase in number of people working is not simply down to short-term Olympic jobs.

Since April 2010, 634,000 extra people are in employment, over half a million of these outside London.

Today’s figures also show the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)  fell by 5,900 in July. This is particularly welcome news because policy changes including the reassessment of incapacity benefit claimants and changes to rules on lone parents claiming income support mean more non-working people are transferring to JSA from other benefits. The total number of people claiming the main out of work benefits is now more than 100,000 lower than in May 2010.

The number of 16-24 year olds in work rose by 40,000 compared to the previous quarter, while there was a 4,000 fall in the number of people in this age who are unemployed. Excluding full-time students, there are 713,000 16-24 year olds who are unemployed.

The UK unemployment rate of 8% is considerably lower than the Eurozone average of 11.2%, European Union average of 10.4% and lower than the United States of America (8.3%), France (10.1%) and Spain (24.8%).

Mr Duncan Smith said:

“These are positive and encouraging figures demonstrating the strength of our private sector - notwithstanding the difficult economic times it is still creating jobs, the vast majority of which are full time. Unemployment is falling and the claimant count is down.”

Today’s statistics also reveal the number of UK nationals in work hit 26.83m between April and June - up 246,000 on the year before, compared to an increase of 15,000 in the number of non-UK nationals in work.

Notes to Editors: 

Background to labour market statistics: Aug 2012 This month’s Labour Force Survey covers April to June 2012. The claimant count is for July 2012 and the vacancy count for May to July 2012.

The number of people in work rose this quarter

  • 29.48 million people were in work in April to June 2012.
  • the employment level rose 201 thousand on the previous quarter and 251 thousand on the year.
  • the employment rate is 71.0%, up 0.4 points on the quarter and up 0.4 points on the year.

ILO unemployment fell this quarter

  • 2.56 million people were ILO unemployed in the April to June 2012 quarter, down by 46 thousand on the January 2012 to  March 2012 period but up 51 thousand on the same quarter last year.
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 8.0 %, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter but up 0.1 percentage points on the year.

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

  • the economic inactivity level is 9.10 million, down 117 thousand on the quarter and 214 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 22.6%, down 0.3 points on the quarter and 0.6 points on the year.
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.2%, down 0.1 points on the quarter and down 0.5 points on the year.

The number of people on JSA fell this month, and the number claiming one of the other main out-of-work benefits is also improving

  • Claimant unemployment was 1,593 thousand in July 2012, down 5.9 thousand on the level in June 2012 and up 35.6 thousand on the year.
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.9%, is unchanged on the month but up 0.1 percentage points on the year.
  • the figures continue to be affected by welfare reform, including reforms to eligibility for lone parent benefits and re-assessment of existing claims for incapacity benefits.  Both are likely to have added to the JSA caseload between June and July.
  • in the year to February 2012, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 21,000 to 2.56 million. The most recent provisional figure for June 2012 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.51 million.
  • in the year to February 2012, the number of lone parents on income support fell 30,000 to 584,000. The provisional figure for June 2012 is 565,000, suggesting that the level is trending downwards.

The number of redundancies fell and unfilled vacancies rose on the quarter

  • There were 150 thousand redundancies in April to June 2012, down 21 thousand on the previous quarter and down 4 thousand on the year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 472 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to July 2012, up 10 thousand on the quarter and 16 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in June 2012 was up by 1.6% over the year

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