Labour Research (August 2016)


UK unemployment rate is down

Jobless numbers were down but claimant numbers were up, the latest official figures show. 

Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment was down by 54,000 to 1.65 million in the three-month period ending May compared with the previous period. 

The unemployment rate was cut to 4.9% from 5.1%. 

The number of unemployed men fell by 25,000 to 903,000, and their unemployment rate was down to 5.1% from 5.2%. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed women decreased by 29,000 to 742,000, enough to cut their unemployment rate to 4.8% from the previous period’s 5.0%.

In the short-term, the outlook on unemployment is gloomy. The average forecast for the unemployment rate at the end of 2016 is up 5.3% from 5.0%, according to the latest Treasury summary of City forecasts. The range of forecasts runs from 5.0% at the optimistic end up to 5.9% at the pessimistic end. 

The other main unemployment measure — the claimant count — only includes claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance and those on the means-tested Universal Credit.

In June, unemployment under the claimant count edged higher by 400 to 759,100 from the revised figure for May of 758,700.

However, the joblessness rate remained at 2.2%.

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