Labour Research May 2016


Numbers of unemployed edge up

In a reversal for the government, the two main measures of unemployment showed rises in the official figures. Under the Labour Force Survey count, unemployment rose by 21,000 in the three-month period ending February compared with the previous period. It took unemployment back up to 1.7 million.

The increase didn’t impact on the unemployment rate which remains at 5.1%.It was women who took most of the hurt. The number of unemployed women was up by 12,000 to 767,000 and their unemployment rate edged higher to 5.0% from 4.9%.The number of unemployed men increased by 9,000 to 929,000 but their unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.2%.

The other main measure — the claimant count — only includes claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance and those on the means-tested Universal Credit. In March, unemployment under the claimant count increased by 6,700 to 732,100 from the revised February figure of 725,400.

The increase in numbers was, however, not enough to impact on the joblessness rate which remained at 2.1%.

Male claimant numbers rose by 5,100 to 462,600, but their joblessness rate was steady at 2.5%. The number of women claimants was up by 1,500 to 269,400 and their joblessness rate was steady at 1.7%.