Labour Research July 2011


Unemployment posts large fall

Unemployment posted the biggest drop since the middle of 2000, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

Under the Labour Force Survey count, it fell by 88,000 in the three months to April this year to 2.43 million — the biggest drop since July 2000 when it fell by 111,000.

The unemployment rate was 7.7%, down from 7.9% in the previous quarter. The number of unemployed men fell by 64,000 to 1.4 million and their unemployment rate was down to 8.3% from 8.6%. Women’s unemployment dipped by 24,000 to just over one million and their unemployment rate was down to 7.0% from 7.1%.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the figures were a “welcome tonic”, but he warned that with 820,000 more unemployed than before the recession, “the labour market is still a long way off a return to full fitness”.

The number claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in May rose by 19,600 to 1.49 million. The rise was the biggest since July 2009, although not enough to affect the claimant rate, which stayed at 4.6%.

The number of male claimants rose by 11,100 taking it past the one million mark and the claimant rate was up to 5.8% from 5.7%. The number of claimant women also rose, by 8,500 to 483,500 and their rate was up to 3.3% from 3.2%.