Labour Research May 2012


Unemployment falls by 35,000

Depending on which figures are used, unemployment was up or down.

Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment fell by 35,000 to 2.65 million in the three months ending February compared with the previous three-month period.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.3% from 8.4% in the three months ending November 2011.

Men accounted for the fall, with another 43,000 out of the unemployment total, taking their total to 1.51 million. Their unemployment rate fell to 8.8% from 9.1%. However, the number of unemployed women rose by 8,000 to 1.14 million, although their unemployment rate was steady at 7.7%.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the fall was “long overdue” but added that the UK is “still a million jobs short of its pre-recession health”.

The claimant count rose for the 17th consecutive month on the basis of revised figures back to 2009 from the Office for National Statistics. The count, which only includes those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, rose by 3,600 to 1.61 million although the joblessness rate remained at 4.9%.

The number of male claimants rose to 1.08 million and their joblessness rate rose to 6.2% from 6.1%. Women claimant numbers fell to 529,400 but their joblessness rate was steady at 3.5%.