Press release

Private sector employment hits new record high

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

Private sector employment has hit a new record high, according to official statistics published today.

Private sector employment hits new record high

Private sector employment has hit a new record high, according to official statistics published today. There are 1.3 million more people in private sector jobs than in early 2010.

The figures from the Office of National Statistics show that more people are in work than ever before and that private sector employment is up 46,000 on the quarter, which more than offsets the 22,000 fall in public sector employment over the same period.

The statistics also show:

  • employment has risen by 24,000 over the last 3 months, with the majority being fulltime jobs
  • unemployment is down by 5,000 over the quarter with the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance falling for the seventh month in a row
  • the number of people claiming the main out of work benefits is now 300,000 lower than it was in May 2010
  • youth unemployment is also down 43,000, with the youth claimant count lower than in May 2010 and the number of young people claiming JSA has fallen every month over the last year

Mark Hoban, Employment Minister said:

It’s a credit to the growth of British businesses up and down the country that we now have a record number of people employed in the private sector. Our priority is getting people back into work and today’s figures show we have more people in work than ever before, more women in work than ever before, and more hours worked in the economy than ever before.

With the number of people in work increasing, and unemployment down, these are welcome figures. The fact that youth unemployment is also down is a positive sign. But we are not complacent – through schemes like the Work Programme and the Youth Contract we will continue to help people find the jobs they need so they can realise their aspiration of looking after themselves and their families and help the country compete in the global race.

Today’s statistics show that the UK’s employment rate of 71.5% is better than the USA, where it stands at 67%, and the EU and Eurozone where is it is around 64%.

There were more than half a million job vacancies in the UK between March and May 2013 – the highest number since the end of 2008 – and 48,000 more than this time last year.

Background to labour market statistics: June 2013

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

The number of people in work rose this quarter, and there are more people in work than ever before

The details are:

  • 29.76 million people were in work in February to April 2013
  • the employment level rose 24 thousand on the previous quarter and 432 thousand on the year
  • the employment rate is 71.5%, down 0.1 points on the quarter but up 0.7 points on the year

ILO unemployment fell this quarter

The details are:

  • 2.51 million people were ILO unemployed in the February to April 2013 quarter, down 5 thousand on the previous quarter and 88 thousand on the year
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.8%, unchanged on the quarter and down 0.4 points on the year

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

The details are:

  • the economic inactivity level is 8.99 million in the February to April 2013 quarter, up 40 thousand on the previous quarter but down 199 thousand on the year
  • the economic inactivity rate is 22.4%, up 0.1 points on the quarter but down 0.5 points on the year
  • excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 16.8%, unchanged on the quarter and down 0.6 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

The details are:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,508 thousand in May 2013, down 8.6 thousand on the month and down 87.6 thousand on the year
  • the claimant count rate is 4.5%, unchanged on the month and down 0.3 points on the year
  • the figures continue to be affected by welfare reform, including re-assessment of existing claims for incapacity benefits – this is likely to have added to the JSA caseload between May and April 2013
  • in the year to November 2012, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 75,640 to 2.50 million – the most recent provisional figure for April 2013 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.47 million
  • in the year to November 2012, the number of lone parents on income support fell 71,056 to 510,060 – the provisional figure for April 2013 is 500,000, suggesting that the numbers are continuing to fall

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

The details are:

  • there were 141 thousand redundancies in February to April 2013, up 9 thousand on the previous quarter but down 14 thousand on the year
  • the ONS vacancy survey estimates an average of 516 thousand unfilled vacancies in the 3 months to May 2013, up 19 thousand on the previous quarter and 48 thousand on the year

Total weekly pay in April 2013 was up by 1.3% over the year

Growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up by 0.9% on the year.

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Published 12 June 2013