Labour market LIVE from Learning and Work Institute -17 January

Labour market LIVE from Learning and Work Institute

  • Unemployment is 1,244,000, down by 3,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline is up by 56,000) and the unemployment rate 3.7%, up by 0.2 percentage points on last quarter.
  • The ONS figure for claimant unemployed is 1,562,300, up by 19,700 on last month.
  • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 933,000, up by 113,000 on the quarter, representing 13.6% of the youth population (up by 1.6 percentage points).
  • Youth unemployment (including students) is 461,000, up by 89,000 on the quarter.
  • Vacancies in Oct-Dec 2022 (in the ONS official series) have declined from their 2022 peak of 1.3 million to 1,161,000.
  • The employment rate is 75.6%, almost unchanged from the previous quarter

Helen Gray, Chief Economist at Learning and Work Institute, said:

‘Although there have been recent signs that cost-of-living pressures have reached their peak, pay fell by an average of 2.6 per cent in real terms in the most recent quarter, one of the largest reductions in pay growth since comparable records began in 2001. Public sector workers continue to be hardest hit, with nominal total pay 3.9 percentage points lower in the public sector compared with the private sector in the quarter to November 2022.

The number of days lost to industrial action continues to rise, reaching nearly half-a-million days in November. Whilst this has not yet exceeded the levels seen in Nov 2011, at the height of disputes about public sector pension reforms, the figures do not currently include the wave of strikes seen across the public sector in December and January. In the context of ongoing cuts to the standard of living, industrial unrest is likely to continue for some time to come.

More welcome news is the small drop in the rate of economic inactivity, continuing the downward trend seen in last month’s figures. In the quarter to November this change was largely due to increased participation in the labour market by 18-24 and 50-64 year olds. However, the rate of economic inactivity remains 1.3 percentage points higher than before the pandemic. More must be done to return employment levels to those seen in February 2020 if there is to be any hope of employers filling nearly 1.2 million vacancies.’

Labour Market Briefing

Employment rose by 27,000 between the June to August 2022 and September to November 2022 quarters. In the last 12 months employment increased by 219,000.

Unemployment has risen by 56,000 between June to August 2022 and September to November 2022. Over this period, the unemployment rate rose by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7% in the most recent quarter.

Economic inactivity fell by 55,000 between June to August 2022 and September to November 2022. The inactivity rate is down by 0.1 percentage points to 21.5% in the quarter.

The national claimant count has risen by 19,700 to 1,562,300.

Youth unemployment has risen by 89,000. There are 461,000 unemployed young people, and 303,000 (4.4% of the youth population) who are unemployed and not in full-time education.