Press release

We will continue to support the economy and jobseekers

Tackling the deficit and pressing ahead with the new Work Programme to help jobseekers back into sustained employment remains the priority.

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

Tackling the deficit and pressing ahead with the new Work Programme to help jobseekers back into sustained employment remains the Government’s priority, Employment Minister Chris Grayling said today.

New figures published by the Office for National Statistics show that although there has been a rise in the number of vacancies and a slight fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, overall unemployment has risen and the number of people in work has fallen.

Ministers have been consistently clear that the UK economy still faces significant challenges, which is why the Government’s priority is to tackle the deficit, invest in the economy to help businesses create new jobs and get Britain working again.

The Government has already taken urgent steps to support growth and rebalance the economy, including:

  • announcing four annual reductions in corporation tax;
  • axing the jobs tax;
  • cutting the small companies rate;
  • expanding loan guarantees;
  • simplifying health and safety laws;
  • investing in science and apprenticeships;
  • promoting exports through major trade missions.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

These figures highlight the crucial importance of the action we are taking to keep the economy moving forward. It’s essential to create a stable environment where businesses can flourish and create jobs - with those on benefits at the front of the queue to take them up.

That’s why we are increasing the support available to people through both Jobcentre Plus and our new Work Programme which will revolutionise the way in which we help the long term unemployed into sustained employment. Only with a successful economy will we be able to finally get Britain working again.

Notes to Editors:

Background to labour market statistics: December 2010

This month’s Labour Force Survey covers August to October 2010. The claimant count and Jobcentre Plus vacancy count dates were 11 and 5 November respectively.

The number of people in work fell this quarter

  • 29.125 million people were in work in August to October.
  • The employment level in August-October was 33 thousand lower than in the previous three months, but up 219 thousand on the year.
  • The employment rate is 70.6%, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter, unchanged on the year.

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

  • Claimant unemployment was 1,462.7 thousand in November 2010, down 1.2 thousand on the level in October, and down 156.7 thousand on the year. 
  • The claimant unemployment rate, at 4.5%, is unchanged on the month and down 0.5 percentage points on the year.
  • In year to May 2010, number claiming incapacity benefits fell 8,300 to 2.61 million. More recent provisional figure for October is 2.59 million, suggesting level is falling slowly.
  • In year to May 2010, number of lone parents on income support fell 41,300 to 679,200. Provisional figure for September suggests the number has fallen further in recent months, to 660,000, driven by welfare reform.

ILO unemployment has risen this quarter

  • 2.50 million people were ILO unemployed in the August to October quarter, up by 35 thousand on the May to July period and up 18 thousand on the same quarter last year. 
  • The ILO unemployment rate is 7.9%, up 0.1 percentage points on the quarter but unchanged on the year.

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

  • The economic inactivity level is 9.3 million, up 22 thousand on the quarter and up 37 thousand on the year.
  • The economic inactivity rate is 23.2%, unchanged on the quarter and year.
  • Excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 17.7%, unchanged on the quarter and year.

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

  • There were 158 thousand redundancies in August to October, up 15 thousand on the previous quarter but down 31 thousand on the year.
  • ONS’ vacancy survey estimates an average of 468 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to November 2010, up 1 thousand on the quarter and up 25 thousand on the year.

Total weekly pay in August to October was up by 2.2% over the year

  • Growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up 2.3% on the year.
Published 15 December 2010