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June 2019

The labour market figures published on 11 June show a robust labour market but one that is clearly slowing down and losing momentum.

View analysis for June 2019.

  • Unemployment is 1,304,000, up by 6,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down by 34,000) and the unemployment rate, 3.8%,showed no change on last month and was down by 0.1 percentage points on last quarter.
  • The ONS figure for claimant unemployed is 1,102,800, which rose by 23,200 on last month, and the claimant rate is 3.1%, up by 0.1 percentage points on last month.
  • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 945,000, up by 19,000 on the quarter, representing 13.6% of the youth population (up 0.3 percentage points) on last quarter.
  • Youth unemployment (including students) is 480,000, and has fallen by20,000 on the quarter.
  • There are 1.6 unemployed people per vacancy. This is up 0.1 this month.
  • The employment rate is 76.1%, no change either on last month or on the preferred quarterly measure.

Duncan Melville, chief economist at Learning and Work Institute, commented:

Today’s numbers indicate that the labour market remains robust but there are clear signs that the labour market is losing momentum. The employment rate remains the joint highest on record, the unemployment rate is at its lowest since the mid-1970s and the inactivity rate is very close to a historic low. So, it is tempting to apply former Prime Minister Harold MacMillan’s famous dictum that we "have never had it so good". However, as Irving Berlin warned us: "there may be trouble ahead". The employment rate, unemployment rate and inactivity rate all appear to be going sideways rather than improving as they had been up until a few months ago.

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Paul Bivand,  associate director for statistics and analysis at Learning and Work Institute's said:

This month we have removed further charts relating to Jobseeker's Allowance only from our briefing. This is due to the ending of new claims for income-related Jobseeker's Allowance as Jobcentres converted to Universal Credit full service. This process has resulted in, by May 2019, two-thirds of all JSA claims being over 12 months. There still remain 222,000 JSA claimants, but the number of new claimants for contribution-related JSA is only just over 10,000 a month.

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Chart 10: Vacancies – whole economy survey

Vacancies (in the Office for National Statistics survey of the whole economy) fell this month, for the fourth month in succession, to 837,000.

Chart 13: Employment rate in the UK

The employment rate showed no quarterly change at 76.1%. The changes within the last quarter in the chart are within rounding limits of 76.1%.

Chart 1: UK unemployment (ILO)

The latest unemployment figure is 1,304,000. It has risen by 6,000 from the figure published last month. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%.

Chart 7: Youth unemployment

The number of unemployed young people has risen by 14,000 since last month’s figures, to 480,000.

Meanwhile, the number of young Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants rose last month by 4,600, to 210,300. There are 137,000 unemployed young people who are not in education, and do not claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, 40.5% of all unemployed young people who are not students.