UK Unemployment Rate Unchanged At 11-Year Low


UK unemployment rate held at an 11-year low of 4.8 percent in the period between October and December 2016, in line with market expectations. The employment rate hit a new all-time high of 74.6 percent as the number of people in work rose by 37 thousand while wage growth slowed.

Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between July to September 2016 and October to December 2016, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people was little changed, and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) decreased.

There were 1.60 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), little changed compared with July to September 2016 but 97,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 877,000 unemployed men, little changed compared with July to September 2016 but 48,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 720,000 unemployed women, little changed compared with July to September 2016 but 50,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, down from 5.1 percent for a year earlier. It has not been lower since July to September 2005. The unemployment rate is the proportion of the labour force (those in work plus those unemployed) that were unemployed.

There were 31.84 million people in work, 37,000 more than for July to September 2016 and 302,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 23.29 million people working full-time, 218,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.55 million people working part-time, 84,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.6 percent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

There were 8.86 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 31,000 fewer than for July to September 2016 and 61,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.6 percent, slightly lower than for July to September 2016 (21.7 percent) and lower than for a year earlier (21.8 percent).

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.6 percent, both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

ONS | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
2/15/2017 9:55:22 AM