Labour Research June 2012


‘Under-employment’ drives fall

Unemployment fell on both official counts, according to the Office for National Statistics. Under the Labour Force Survey count, it fell by 45,000 to 2.63 million in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the final quarter of 2011.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.2% from 8.4% in the three months ending December 2011, mainly due to a fall in the number of unemployed men. Their numbers fell by 42,000 to 1.51 million and their unemployment rate fell to 8.8% from 9.0%. The number of unemployed women only went down by 3,000 to 1.12 million, but that was enough to cut their unemployment rate over the past two quarters to 7.6% from 7.7%.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the fall in unemployment was driven by under-employed people “taking part-time and temporary jobs for a lack of permanent full-time work”. Their numbers hit two million for the first time ever.

The joblessness rate stayed at 4.9% despite the claimant count — which only includes those on Jobseeker’s Allowance — falling for the second month in succession after monthly rises from November 2010. It fell by 13,700 to 1.59 million in April.

Male claimant numbers fell to 1.07 million but their joblessness rate was steady at 6.1%. Female numbers fell to 521,000 and their joblessness rate was down to 3.4% from the previous month’s figure of 3.5%.