Unemployment

December 2016 to February 2017

Unemployment over the period December to February fell by 45,000 from the previous quarter, and by 141,000 over the year. Unemployment is now 1.56 million, at a rate of 4.7%.

There were 853,000 unemployed men, 30,000 fewer than for September to November, while there were 706,000 unemployed women, a drop of 15,000.

Average earnings in nominal terms, including bonuses, increased in the period by 2.3%

See full labour market report.

Recent unemployment

Unemployment between 1980 to 2017

Unemployment - 1980 - 2016 | amCharts

See employment figures

Previous figures

Unemployment

September to November 2016

Unemployment over the period September to November fell by 52,000 from the previous quarter, and by 81,000 over the year. Unemployment is now 1.60 million, at a rate of 4.8%.

There were 883,000 unemployed men, 8,000 fewer than for June to August, while there were 721,000 unemployed women, a drop of 44,000.

Average earnings in nominal terms, including bonuses, increased in the period by 2.8%

See full labour market report.

July to September 2016

Unemployment over the period July to September 2016, fell by 37,000 from the previous quarter, and by 461,000 over the year. Unemployment is now 1.6 million, at a rate of 4.8%.

There were 876,000 unemployed men, 15,000 fewer than for April to June, while there were 728,000 unemployed women, a drop of 22,000.

Average earnings in nominal terms, including bonuses, increased in the period by 2.3%

See full labour market report.

June to August 2016

Unemployment over the period June to August 2016, rose by 10,000, to reach 1.66 million.

There were 891,000 unemployed men, 12,000 fewer than for March to May 2016, while there were 765,000 unemployed women, 23,000 more than for March to May 2016.

See full labour market report.

May to July 2016

The unemployment rate for the period May to July 2016, fell from 4.91% to 4.88% compared with the previous period - February to April - and was lower by 0.6% compared with the same period last year (at 5.5%) This is the lowest rate since September 2005.

The total number of unemployed now stands at 1.63 million, of which 901,000 were men and 731,000 women.

The inactivity rate, which is the % of the active 16 to 64 year olds who are inactive, fell to 21.5%, while the employment rate stood at 74.5%.

See full labour market report.

April to June

The unemployment rate for the period April to June 2016, fell from 4.93% to 4.91% compared with the previous period - March to May - and was lower by 0.7% compared with the same period last year (at 5.6%) This is the lowest unemployment rate for nearly a decade. The total number of unemployed now stands at 1.64 million, of which 890,000 were men and 750,000 women. See full labour market report.

March to May

The unemployment rate for the period March to May, 2016, fell by 0.1% compared with the previous period, from 5.0% to 4.9%, and by 0.7% compared with the same period last year. This is the lowest unemployment rate for nearly a decade. The total number of unemployed now stands at 1.65 million, of which 0.90m were men and 0.74m women. See full labour market report - ONS.

Any effect on the labour market from Brexit is unlikely to feed through for several months.

November 2015 to January 2016

Data for the 3 months to January 2016, released by the ONS, indicate there were 1.68 million unemployed people, some 28,000 fewer than for the previous 3-month period, and 171,000 fewer over the year.

The unemployment rate was 5.1%, down from 5.7% a year ago.  The employment rate was 74.1%. There were 31.42 million people in work, 116,000 more than for August to October 2015 and 478,000 more than for a year earlier.

There were 22.94 million people working full-time, 302,000 more than for a year earlier, and 8.48 million people working part-time, 177,000 more than for a year earlier

September to November 2015

The unemployment rate for the UK fell to 5.1% in the 3 months from September to November 2015, according to official figures released today by the ONS. This is the lowest rate of unemployment for a decade.

There were 1.68 million unemployed people - a fall of 99,000 on the previous quarter, and 239,000 over the year. There were 919,000 unemployed men, down 149,000 over the year, and 756,000 unemployed women, down 89,000 on the year.

Employment stood at 74.0%, which is the highest rate since comparable records began in 1971.

August to October 2015

The unemployment rate for the UK fell to 5.2% in the 3 months from August to October, according to official figures released today by the ONS. This is the lowest rate of unemployment for nearly a decade.

There were 1.71 million unemployed people - a fall of 110,000 on the previous quarter, and 244,000 over the year. There were 939,000 unemployed men, down 153,000 over the year, and 774,000 unemployed women, down 91,000 on the year.

Employment stood at 73.9%, which is the highest rate since comparable records began in 1971.

July to September 2015

The trend towards an even tighter labour market continues according to figures released by the ONS this week (13/11/15). While employment hit record levels, rising to 73.7% - the highest since records began in 1971 - unemployment fell to 5.3%, down to the level immediately preceding the onset of the 'Great Recession' in 2008.

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June to August 2015

The unemployment rate for the UK fell to 5.4% in the period June to August 2015, lower than for March to May 2015 (5.6%) and for a year earlier (6.0%). This is the lowest rate of unemployment in the UK since May 2008.

There were 31.12 million people in work, some 140,000 more than for March to May 2015 and 359,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate was 73.6%, the highest since records began in 1971.

October to December 2014

Unemployment for the 3-month period from October to December 2014 fell 5.7% (1.86 million people) according to figures released by the ONS, a fall of 97,000 (from July to September).

The employment rate - the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 in work - was 73.2%, higher than for July to September 2014 (73.0%) and for a year earlier (72.0%) - it last reached this level in December 2004.

In terms of labour market inactivity, the rate for 16 to 64 year was unchanged at 22.3%.

The unemployment rate for the period July 2014 to September 2014 stood at 6.0%, the lowest rate since 2008. There were 1.96 million unemployed people, 115,000 fewer than for April to June 2014 and 529,000 fewer than a year earlier, which represents the largest annual fall in unemployment on record.

The proportion of 16 to 64 year olds in work - the official employment rate - was 73.0%, up from 71.6% on the year.

March to May

Good news on the strength of the UK labour market, with employment and activity rising and unemployment falling in the period March to May, 2014. 30.64 million people are now in work – up 254,000 in the three months to May, and up 929,000 over the year. The adult employment rate – at 73.1% - is the highest since records began.

In terms of unemployment, at 2.12 million, the numbers edge closer to the psychological 2m mark. The rate fell to 6.5% for the period March to May – the lowest since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008. The most encouraging sign from the figures, released by the ONS this week, is that, unlike previous periods, the gains do not just come from increases in part-time work. This is further evidence that employers are more confident to create full-time jobs. However, positive news on the labour market front is likely to put pressure on the Bank of England to increase interest rates given that the current rate of 6.5% is below the 7% threshold set by the Bank as part of its forward guidance strategy.

February to April

The good news continues on the unemployment front, with 161,000 fewer unemployed for the period February to April 2014, and 347,000 fewer that a year ago. 

Inactivity also fell - with 80,000 fewer inactive people in the 16 to 64 age group in the period, down by 178,000 over the year.

Dec - Feb 2014

Good news on the jobs front continues, with the announcement from the ONS that the unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 6.9% for the period December 2013 to February 2014. At 30.39 million, employment was 239,000 higher than for September to November 2013 and 691,000 higher than a year earlier. 72.6% of people aged 16 to 64 were in work for December 2013 to February 2014, up from 72.1% for September to November 2013 and from 71.4% for a year earlier.

8.85 million people aged 16 to 64 were economically inactive for December 2013 to February 2014 - some 86,000 lower than for September to November 2013 and 104,000 lower than a year earlier.

Pay including bonuses for December 2013 to February 2014 was 1.7% higher than a year earlier.

Sep - Nov 2013

The latest unemployment figures (for the period September to November, 2013) released by the ONS  provide more evidence that the jobs market is improving, both in terms of rising employment, up 0.5%, and falling unemployment – down by 0.5% to 7.1% (down to 2.32 million). There was also good news in terms of the ‘inactivity rate’ which was down 0.1% (to 22.2%, or 8.93 million). However, average pay, which rose by 0.9%, is failing to keep pace with inflation, meaning that real incomes are still falling for the vast majority, and the ‘feel-good’ factor continues to remain elusive.