The Minister for Employment today welcomed a further rise in employment but urged caution in light of economic challenges ahead.
New figures published by the Office for National Statistics today show another rise in employment compared to the previous quarter, up 166,000 to 29.28m (ILO measure). Unemployment has also fallen again down by 51,000 to 2.61 million. The claimant count has risen by 8,100 in the last month following a fall of nearly 13,000 in April.
Since May 2010 the total number of people claiming key out of work benefits has fallen by 80,000.
The unemployment rate for 16 to 24 year olds has fallen by 0.6 percentage points. Of those, the number of young people out of education and seeking work is now 709,000 down 23,000 on the quarter. The number of full-time students looking for a job is 305,000.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:
Any fall in unemployment is very welcome but I remain cautious over the next few months given the continuing economic challenges we face.
There are more jobs available in the economy with vacancies at 465,000, up 7,000 on this time last year. The number of people employed in the private sector is up 205,000 on the quarter, more than offsetting a 39,000 fall in public sector employment. The total number of people working full-time has also increased by 82,000.
The Minister added:
These figures show that with the right support in place it is possible for the private sector to create jobs while the public sector employment is falling.
Notes to Editors:
Background to labour market statistics: June 2012
This month’s Labour Force Survey covers February to April 2012. The claimant count is for May 2012 and the vacancy count for March to May 2012.
**The number of people in work rose this quarter **
- 29.28 million people were in work in February to April 2012.
- the employment level rose 166 thousand on the previous quarter and 42 thousand on the year.
- private sector employment rose 205,000 on the quarter and 320,000 on the year, to 23.4 million.
- the employment rate is 70.6%, up 0.3 points on the quarter but unchanged on the year.
ILO unemployment fell this quarter
- 2.61 million people were ILO unemployed in the February to April 2012 quarter, down by 51 thousand on the November 2011 to January 2012 period but up 185 thousand on the same quarter last year.
- the ILO unemployment rate is 8.2%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter but up 0.5 percentage points on the year.
Economic inactivity is down on the quarter and on the year
- the economic inactivity level is 9.23 million, down 69 thousand on the quarter and 139 thousand on the year.
- the economic inactivity rate is 23.0%, down 0.2 points on the quarter and 0.4 points on the year.
- excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.4%, unchanged on the quarter and down 0.2 points on the year.
**The number of people on JSA rose this month, but the number claiming one of the other main out-of-work benefits is improving **
- claimant unemployment was 1,599,300 in May 2012, up 8.1 thousand on the level in April 2012 following a fall of 12,800 the previous month.
- the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.9%, is unchanged on the month but up 0.3 percentage points on the year.
- the figures continue to be affected by welfare reform, including the ongoing process to re-assess existing claims for incapacity benefits, and this is likely to have added to the JSA caseload.
- in the year to November 2011, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 10,800 to 2.58 million. The most recent provisional figure for April 2012 suggests the caseload has since fallen further to 2.53 million.
- in the year to November 2011, the number of lone parents on income support fell 66,700 to 581,600. The provisional figure for April 2012 is 580,000, suggesting the number has levelled out in recent months.
The number of redundancies fell and unfilled vacancies rose on the quarter
- There were 155 thousand redundancies in February - April 2012, down 18 thousand on the previous quarter but up 39 thousand on the year.
- ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 465 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to May 2012, up 1 thousand on the quarter and 7 thousand on the year.
Total weekly pay in February to April 2012 was up by 1.4% over the year
- growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 1.8% on the year.