There have never been more part-time workers in the UK, since at least 1992, when ONS downloadable data begin. The level – now at 7.82m – helped drive another quarter of rising employment, though aggregate hours worked fell, ONS data show.
It’s happened again. Both employment and unemployment fell last month, and at an increasing pace.
Unemployment was down 2.458 -> 2.457 -> 2.449m (December -> January -> February).
Figures just out show the UK labour force is shrinking. The same happened last month.
Figures for January show employment is down from 28.921m to 28.905m, and unemployment is down from 2.458 to 2.457. The changes are slight enough to warrant three decimal places, and it should be noted that the change to employment are within sampling variability (+/- 129).
The rising number of economically inactive (“Not labour force” in the diagram, right) is largely driven by men. Many are becoming students, a 2.8 per cent rise on the quarter (4.3 per cent for men; 1.3 per cent for women). Many of those surveyed want a job but are excluded from the unemployment numbers because they haven’t been looking for work in the past four weeks, or those who are looking but unable to start in the next fortnight (Table 13).
Within unemployment, two trends are clear. First, claims for unemployment benefit are still rising. They are up 30 per cent on the year, rising more for women (37 per cent) than for men (28 per cent). The claimant count fell last month by 0.9 per cent, but have regained that ground this month, rising 1.5 per cent.
Second, the duration of unemployment continues to rise, with those seeking work for more than 12 months seeing the fastest rise in caimant count, up 9.2 per cent in the last month alone (Table 11(1)). Young claimants were by far the worst off, with claimants in the 18-24 age bracket rising 23.7 per cent in the month.