Press release

More people in employment than ever before

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

There are more people in employment than ever before, according to new statistics published today.

There are more people in employment than ever before, according to new statistics published today. Unemployment has fallen again and youth unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in a year.

The Minister for Employment, Mark Hoban, today welcomed the news as he met with new employees of Whitbread’s Premier Inn, who used their experience of working and volunteering at the Olympics to secure permanent employment.

The new figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, show a rise in employment compared to the previous quarter, up 212,000 to 29.59m. Over the past year as a whole employment has risen by more than half a million.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

It’s a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before. Despite the tough economic times the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work - with 170,000 fewer people on the main out of work benefits than in May 2010.

The big fall in youth unemployment is particularly welcome, but we know this remains a challenge which is why we have the GBP 1 billion Youth Contract offering nearly 500,000 work experience places, apprenticeships and wage incentives to help young people get a job.

Unemployment fell by 50,000 to 2.53 million (ILO measure). Youth unemployment has fallen below 1 million to 957,000. Of those, the number of 16 to 24 year olds out of education and seeking work is now 658,000, down 61,000 on the quarter.  The number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance also fell by 6,600 in September, to 435,500.

Full-time employment is up 88,000 this quarter. There are also an extra 125,000 people in part time jobs - 104,000 of whom are people who did not want a full time job.

There are also more job opportunities available, with the number of unfilled vacancies at 476,000, up 3,000 on the quarter and 17,000 on a year earlier.

The number of people on Jobseeker’s Allowance fell 4,000 between August and September, to 1.57 million, the third consecutive monthly fall. This is despite reform of eligibility for lone parents benefits and reassessment of people on Incapacity Benefits continuing to add to the JSA caseload over this period.

This comes on the day that the Government announced widening access to New Enterprise Allowance, which helps entrepreneurial jobseekers start their own business, with 33,000 more people to benefit from advice from a mentor to draw up a business plan.

Notes to Editors

Background to labour market statistics: October 2012

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers June to August 2012. The claimant count is for September 2012 and the vacancy count for July to September 2012.

The number of people in work rose this quarter to the highest number ever

  • 29.59 million people were in work in Jun to Aug 2012.
  • The employment level rose 212 thousand on the previous quarter and 510 thousand on the year.
  • The employment rate is 71.3%, up 0.5 points on the quarter and up 0.9 points on the year.

ILO unemployment fell this quarter

  • 2.53 million people were ILO unemployed in the Jun to Aug 2012 quarter, down by 50 thousand on the quarter and down 50 thousand on the year.
  • The ILO unemployment rate is 7.9%, down 0.2 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 on the year

  • The economic inactivity level is 9.04 million, down 138 thousand on the quarter and 314 thousand on the year.
  • The economic inactivity rate is 22.5%, down 0.3 points on the quarter and 0.8 points on the year.
  • Excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.0%, down 0.4 points on the quarter and down 0.6 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 1,567.3 thousand in September 2012, down 4.0 thousand on the level in August 2012 and down 21.8 thousand on the year.
  • The claimant unemployment rate, at 4.8%, is unchanged on the month and down 0.1 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 August and September.
  • In the year to February 2012, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 21,000 to 2.56 million. The most recent provisional figure for August 2012 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.50 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 August 2012 is 545,000, suggesting that the level is trending downwards.

The number of redundancies fell and unfilled vacancies are steady

  • There were 131 thousand redundancies in Jun to Aug 2012 quarter, down 16 thousand on the previous quarter and down 18 thousand on the year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 476 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to September 2012, up 3 thousand on the quarter and 17 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in the three months to August 2012 was up by 1.7% over the year

  • Growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 2.0% on the year.

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