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August 2018

The labour market figures published on 14 August are overall a mixed bag. Many commentators are focusing on the surprising and welcome fall in the unemployment rate but, going beyond that one figure and the picture that emerges is not as positive.

  • Unemployment is 1,360,000, and has fallen by 51,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline down by 65,000). The unemployment rate is 4.0%, down by 0.1 percentage points on last month and down by 0.2 percentage points on last quarter.
  • The ONS figure for claimant unemployed is 906,100, up by 6,200 on last month, and the claimant rate is 2.5%.
  • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 981,000, fell by 28,000 on the quarter, representing 14.0% of the youth population (down by 0.3 percentage points).
  • Youth unemployment (including students) is 492,000 and fell by 39,000 on the quarter.
  • There are 1.6 unemployed people per vacancy. L&W estimates this figure may rise slightly next month.
  • The employment rate is 75.6% and fell by 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and showed no change in the preferred quarterly measure.

Download the full analysis for August 2018.

Chart 1: UK unemployment (ILO)

The latest unemployment figure is 1,360,000. It has has fallen by 51,000 from the figure published last month. On the basis of later claimant count figures, Learning and Work Institute estimates that unemployment may rise, although this remains highly uncertain. The unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.0%.

Chart 2: Percentage unemployed not claiming Universal Credit or JSA

The proportion of unemployed people not claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen to 34.5%; (469,000).

Chart 3: Youth long-term unemployment (six months and over, 18-24)

Youth long-term unemployment (which can include students) has risen by 10,000 from last month’s figure and is now 129,000.

The youth long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance count (but not UC) remains far behind, at 17,700. The count fell by 400 this month.

Chart 4: Adult long-term unemployment (12 months and over, 25+)

Adult long-term unemployment on the survey measure is now 276,000. The Jobseeker’s Allowance measure is 152,300.