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Video Summary: Latest on the Labour Market, January 2013

Released: 23 January 2013

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Slide 1

This is a short video looking at the latest on the UK labour market in January 2013.

Slide 2

It will cover September to November 2012, compared to June to August 2012.

We will show the level and the rate, and unemployment was down 37,000 to 2.49 million, with a rate of 7.7 per cent.

Employment for everyone aged 16 and over was 29.68 million, up 90,000, and 71.4 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were in work. Inactivity for those aged from 16 to 64 was 9.03 million, down 13,000, and 22.5 per cent of people aged 16 to 64 were inactive.

Finally, the claimant count, the count of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, in December 2012, was down 12,000 on November 2012 to stand at 1.56 million. And the claimant count rate stood at 4.8 per cent.

Slide 3

We will start this month by looking at the annual change in unemployment, and using this graph, we can see the annual change in unemployment from 1993 to the current period in 2012. The red rectangle highlights the large increase in the annual change in unemployment brought on by the economic recession.

Looking at the annual change in unemployment by gender, the red line illustrates the annual change for men, and the green line the change for women.

Now we will focus on the current period of September to November 2012. There has been a decrease in unemployment of 185,000 compared with the same period in 2011. If we break this decrease down by gender, using this chart, we can see that 140,000 of the decrease were male and 45,000 female.

The next chart shows the annual decrease in unemployment broken down into age bands, and as we can see, 82,000 of the decrease were in the 16-24 year old age group.

Returning to the previous graph, we can see, using the dotted black line, that the annual decrease seen for the period September to November 2012 was the largest annual decrease since March to May 2001.

Slide 4

Now we will turn our attention to employment. We will start by looking at the change in the number of people aged between 16 and 64 employed from the start of the recession in 2008, which was April to June, to the current period of September to November 2012. The blue line shows the rate over the period, and in April-June 2008 employment stood at 28.8 million, and in September to November 2012, employment stood at 28.7 million, a decrease of 130,000.

So employment is 130 thousand lower to pre-recession, however this does not take into account the impact of increases in the 16-64 population. In April to June 2008 the 16-64 year old population was 39.58 million, whereas in September to November 2012, it was 40.21 million, which is an increase of 634 thousand.

Because of this change in the population, we should look at the employment rate, which is the percentage of people aged between 16 and 64 who are employed. The green line shows the employment rate from April to June 2008 to September to November 2012. At the start of the period the employment rate stood at 72.9%, and in September to November 2012 it stood at 71.4%, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points.

Therefore for the employment rate to have remained the same over the period, for every 100 increase in the 16-64 population there needed to be an increase in employment of 73.

Turning our attention to employment over the last year, this graph shows the employment rate for those aged between 16 and 64. In September to November 2011 the employment rate was 70.3%, and in September to November 2012 the rate was 71.4%.

The employment rate has increased since the number of people employed over the past year has increased faster than the 16-64 year old population. The number of people employed has increased by 470 thousand in the past 12 months but the 16-64 population has only increased by 37,000.

This video is no longer available following the closure of the ONS YouTube channel

Source: Office for National Statistics

Background notes

  1. Further information is available in the Statistical Bulletin and the data tables .

  2. A number of video stories relating to labour market statistics are available from NOMIS® .

  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office email:

    The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;
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    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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