Labour Research (October 2016)


Unemployment at eight-year low

Under the Labour Force Survey (LFS) count, unemployment was down by 39,000 to 1.63 million in the three-month period ending July compared with the previous period. The number was last lower in the period ending May 2008.

The unemployment rate was cut to 4.9% from 5.0% — its lowest rate for almost 11 years. The fall was due to the numbers of women falling as male unemployment rose.The number of unemployed women was down by 48,000 to 731,000 and their unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from the previous period’s 5.0%. However, the number of unemployed men rose by 9,000 to 901,000 and their unemployment rate rose to 5.1% from 5.0%.

There was also an increase in the other main unemployment measure, the claimant count, which only includes claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance and those on the means-tested Universal Credit. 

In August, unemployment under the claimant count increased by 2,400 to 771,000 from the revised figure for July of 768,600. The rise was not enough to affect the joblessness rate which remained at 2.2%.

The number of women claimants fell by 1,100 to 271,400, but their joblessness rate was unchanged at 1.7%. Male claimant numbers increased by 3,500 to 499,500; however, their joblessness rate remained at 2.7%.

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