Number of People in Work Increases Again

Despite fears about short and medium-term employment prospects, the number of people in work in the UK actually increased by nearly 300,000 in the three months for May to July. There was also a slight fall in the number of people who were unemployed and the number classified as ‘economically inactive’.

But not all the news on the jobs front was so positive.  The number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance (the Claimant Count) increased slightly and the number of vacancies fell.  

According to the Office for National Statistics, in the three months May to July:

The number of people aged 16 and over in work in the UK went up by 286,000 to 29.16 million.  This meant that the employment rate for those aged 16-64 has risen to 70.7 per cent, up 0.4 per cent on the quarter.  The increase was mainly in the number of part-time workers which increased by 166,000 over the quarter to reach 7.93 million – the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The unemployment rate fell by 0.1 per cent to 7.8 per cent.  The number of unemployed people fell by 8,000 over the quarter to reach 2.47 million.

The Claimant Count increased by 2,300 between July and August to reach 1.47 million.

The number of economically inactive people aged 16-64 fell by 158,000 to reach 9.26 million, meaning that the inactivity rate fell by 0.4 per cent to 23.2 per cent.

The number of vacancies for the three months to August was down by 14,000 to 426,000.

As far as people aged 50+ are concerned:

The number of people aged 50-64 in paid employment went up by 37,000 to 7.28 million, whilst there was a rise of 72,000 (to 864,000) in the number of those aged 65 and over in work .  The employment rates rose for these two groups rose to 64.9 per cent and 8.8 per cent respectively.  

The number of people aged 50 and over classified as unemployed rose by 13,000 to 394,000 and the proportion who had been unemployed for 12 months or more was up by 12,000 to 169,000 (42.9 per cent).

The Claimant Count amongst people aged 50 and over rose by 600 to 225,000 between July and August, of whom 58,800 (26.1 per cent) had been claiming for 12 months or more.

Finally, the number of people aged 50-64 who were economically inactive fell by 25,000 over the quarter to 3.57 million, an inactivity rate of 31.8 per cent.

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