Press release

Rise in employment welcome but we must press ahead with vital welfare reforms

Increase in employment is a step in the right direction, but priority is to support the five million who have the potential to work.

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


The increase in employment is a step in the right direction, but our priority is to support all of those five million on out of work benefits who have the potential to work into jobs, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said today.

The latest employment figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that employment has risen by 178,000 and unemployment fell by 20,000 this month. However, Ministers are clear that the UK economy still faces significant challenges ahead and it must continue to tackle the deficit and create an environment where businesses can flourish and create jobs.

The slight increase in the number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance this month shows that Government is right to press ahead with its new Work Programme, which will offer personalised, tailored support to get people into jobs quickly.

Today’s figures come alongside the start of the drive to help those left behind on incapacity benefits (IB) back into work. Reassessments of people claiming IB started earlier this week in Burnley and Aberdeen and will roll out nationwide next April.

Chris Grayling said:

Another rise in employment is a step in the right direction but clearly our priority is to get the economy motoring again, reduce the deficit and make the UK an attractive place for investment to encourage growth.

We are pressing ahead with radically overhauling the welfare system, with reassessments of those on incapacity benefits in Burnley and Aberdeen beginning this week. From early next year our Work Programme will come into force to ensure that long term unemployed people and others who need it have tailored support to move them into sustained work.

Government has already taken steps to remove National Insurance for small employers, establish the regional growth fund and reduce corporation tax to make the UK attractive to oversees investors and drive up private sector employment.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: October 2010

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers June to August 2010. The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 9th and 3rd September respectively.

The number of people in work rose this quarter

  • 29.16 million people were in work in June to August.
  • the employment level in June-August was 178 thousand higher than in the previous three months, and up 241 thousand on the year.
  • the employment rate is 70.7%, up 0.2 percentage points on the quarter but unchanged on the year.

The number of people on JSA rose slightly this month and there are nearly 5 million people in total claiming one of the main out-of-work benefits:

  • claimant unemployment was 1,473.1 thousand in September 2010, up 5.3 thousand on the level in August, and down 144.1 thousand on the year.
  • the claimant unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is unchanged on the month and down 0.4 percentage points on the year.
  • in the year to February 2010, the number of people claiming employment support allowance/incapacity benefits rose by 11,220 to 2.61 million. More recent provisional estimates for August 2010 suggest the position has since remained broadly stable.
  • in the year to February 2010, the number receiving lone parent benefits fell 44,020 to 692.0 thousand. Provisional figures for August 2010 suggest the number of claimants has fallen further in recent months, to 670,000.

ILO unemployment has fallen this quarter

  • 2.45 million people were ILO unemployed in the June to August quarter, down by 20 thousand on the March to May period and down 23 thousand on the same quarter last year.
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.7%, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter and on the year.

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

  • the economic inactivity level is 9.28 million, down 66 thousand on the quarter but up 73 thousand on the year.
  • the economic inactivity rate is 23.2%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter but up 0.1 percentage points on the year.
  • Excluding students, the inactivity rate is 17.7%, down 0.1 points on the quarter and the year.

The number of vacancies and the number of redundancies both fell this quarter

  • There were 143 thousand redundancies in June to August, down 17 thousand on the previous quarter and 69 thousand on the year.
  • ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 459 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to September 2010, down 30 thousand on the quarter but up 26 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in June-August 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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Published 13 October 2010