Press release

More vacancies available in the UK than at any time since 2008

More than half a million job vacancies in the UK, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

There are more than half a million job vacancies in the UK – the highest number since 2008, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

There was an increase in unemployment of 15,000 in the three months to March, but the total number of people unemployed is 92,000 lower than a year ago. The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell to its lowest level since May 2011, and youth unemployment fell by 17,000 over the past quarter.

The number of people in work fell by 43,000 compared to the previous quarter. This reflects falls in part-time and temporary work and people on Government-supported training schemes. Full-time employment rose by 10,000 on the quarter.

Over the past year, the number of people in work has increased by over 430,000. Nearly nine out of ten of these jobs have gone to UK nationals.

Today’s statistics also show that there are over 850,000 more people in work than there were in early 2010.

A key measure of the health of the jobs market is the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. This fell by over 7,000 in April, and is down almost 70,000 compared to this time last year. Last month saw the smallest number of new JSA claims for over four years.

The number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 6,000 this month, the eleventh consecutive fall.

Today’s statistics also show that the UK’s employment rate, which currently stands at around 71%, compares favourably to US, where it is 67%, and the EU and the Eurozone where it is even lower – at 64%.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

There are record numbers of women in work, fewer young people unemployed and more vacancies available for those looking for work. We are also seeing continuing falls in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance which is positive. Whilst there has been a disappointing increase in the headline rate of unemployment, we shouldn’t forget the progress we are making.

We are not complacent. To win the global race we need to do all that we can to help people achieve their aspiration to look after themselves and their families.

Background to labour market statistics: May 2013

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers January to March 2013. The claimant count is for April 2013 and the vacancy count for February to April 2013.

The number of people in work fell this quarter

The details are:

  • 29.71 million people were in work in January to March 2013
  • the employment level fell 43 thousand on the previous quarter but rose 434 thousand on the year
  • the employment rate is 71.4%, down 0.2 points on the quarter but up 0.8 points on the year

ILO unemployment rose this quarter

The details are:

  • 2.52 million people were ILO unemployed in the January to March 2013 quarter, up 15 thousand on the previous quarter but down 92 thousand on the year
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.8%, up 0.1 points on the quarter but down 0.4 points on the year

The level of economic inactivity is up

The details are:

  • the economic inactivity level is 9.0 million in the January to March 2013 quarter, up 47 thousand on the previous quarter but down 212 thousand on the year
  • the economic inactivity rate is 22.4%, up 0.1 points on the quarter but down 0.6 points on the year
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 16.8%, unchanged on the quarter and down 0.5 points on the year

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

The details are:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,521 thousand in April 2013, down 7.3 thousand on the month and down 67.8 thousand on the year
  • the claimant count rate is 4.5%, down 0.1 points on the month and down 0.2 points on the year
  • the figures continue to be affected by the re-assessment of existing claims for incapacity benefits – this is likely to have added to the JSA caseload between March and April
  • in the year to August 2012, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 65,100 to 2.52 million – the most recent provisional figure for March 2013 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.47 million
  • in the year to August 2012, the number of lone parents on income support fell 50,050 to 545,240. The provisional figure for March 2013 is 500,000, suggesting that the numbers are continuing to fall

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

The details are:

  • there were 140 thousand redundancies in January to March 2013, down 5 thousand on the previous quarter and 32 thousand on the year
  • the ONS vacancy survey estimates an average of 503 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to April 2013, up 11 thousand on the previous quarter and 40 thousand on the year

Total weekly pay in February 2013 was up by 0.4% over the year

Growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up by 0.8% on the year.

These statistics are published by the Office for National Statistics. DWP today expanded its Stat-Xplore website to provide access to its own statistics in a clearer format that is easier to navigate.

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