Press release

Number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants falls

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

The number of people on Jobseeker's Allowance has fallen again according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

Number of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants falls

The number of people on Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen again according to new figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

This has been replicated across the country, with the number of claimants falling in every region of England as well as Wales and Scotland. The number of new Jobseeker’s Allowance claims is also at its lowest level for over four years.

The number of young people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance is also down by 2,800 on the month, and is 65,400 lower than last year.

Today’s figures show employment was broadly flat over the quarter – down by 2,000 to 29.70m – but the number of people in full-time posts rose by 60,000. The number of people in temporary work fell by 55,000.

The number of people classed as unemployed increased by 70,000, but most of this is accounted for by a 57,000 fall in inactivity – those people who are neither in work nor looking for work. Unemployment is still 71,000 lower than it was a year ago.

As reforms to the welfare system mean more people entering the labour market to look for work, the level of inactivity has fallen by 285,000 over the past year, and is now at its lowest rate since 1991. Since early 2010, the overall number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by over 270,000.

In the latest quarter the number of women in work increased by 54,000 meaning there are now more women in work than ever before.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

Today’s figures show a further fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, including a welcome drop amongst young people.

But there are still tough challenges ahead. We will continue to give jobseekers all the help and support they need to realise their aspirations.

Background to labour market statistics: April 2013

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers December 2012 to February 2013. The claimant count is for March 2013 and the vacancy count for January to March 2013

The number of people in work fell slightly this quarter

The details are:

  • 29.70 million people were in work in December 2012 to February 2013.
  • the employment level fell by 2 thousand on the previous quarter but rose 488 thousand on the year
  • the employment rate is 71.4%, unchanged on the quarter and up 0.9 points on the year

ILO unemployment rose this quarter

The details are:

  • 2.56 million people were ILO unemployed in the December 2012 to February 2013 quarter, up 70 thousand on the previous quarter but down 71 thousand on the year
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.9%, up 0.2 points on the quarter but down 0.3 points on the year.

The level of economic inactivity is down, and the inactivity rate is the lowest since 1991

The details are:

  • the economic inactivity level is 8.95 million in the December 2012 to February 2013 quarter, down 57 thousand on the previous quarter and 285 thousand on the year
  • the economic inactivity rate is 22.2%, down 0.2 points on the quarter and down 0.7 points on the year
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 16.7%, down 0.2 points on the quarter and down 0.7 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 1,531 thousand in March 2013, down 7.0 thousand on the month and down 77.5 thousand on the year
  • the claimant count rate is 4.6%, unchanged 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 February and March
  • in the year to August 2012, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 65,100 to 2.52 million – the most recent provisional figure for Feb 2013 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.47 million
  • In the year to May 2012, the number of lone parents on income support fell 50,000 to 545,000 – the provisional figure for Feb 2013 is 505,000, 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 137 thousand redundancies in December 2012 to February 2013, down 21 thousand on the previous quarter and 37 thousand on the year
  • ONS’ vacancy survey estimates an average of 495 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to March 2013, up 1 thousand on the previous quarter and 34 thousand on the year

Total weekly pay in February 2013 was up by 0.8% over the year

Growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up by 1% on the year.

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Published 17 April 2013