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March 2018

The labour market figures published on 21 March provide some positive headline numbers but looking a little deeper raises some concerns that maybe all is not quite so rosy.

  • Unemployment is 1,453,000, down by 17,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline is up by 24,000) and the unemployment rate is 4.3%,down 0.1 percentage points on last month and no change on last quarter.
  • The number of claimant unemployed is 837,800, up 9,200 on last month, and the claimant rate is 2.4%.
  • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 999,000, up 30,000 on the quarter, representing 14.1% of the youth population (up 0.5 percentage points).
  • Youth unemployment (including students) is 538,000, up 15,000 on the quarter.
  • There are 1.8 unemployed people per vacancy. Learning and Work Institute estimates this figure may fall slightly next month.
  • The employment rate is 75.3% (up 0.2 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up 0.3 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

Download the full analysis for March 2018.

Chart 1: UK unemployment (ILO)

The latest unemployment figure is 1,453,000. It has fallen by 17,000 from the figure published last month. On the basis of later claimant count figures, Learning and Work Institute estimates that unemployment may continue to trend upwards, although this remains highly uncertain. The unemployment rate remained at 4.3%.

Chart 2: Percentage unemployed not claiming Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance

The proportion of unemployed people not claiming Universal Credit or Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen to 42.9%; (623,000).

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

Youth long-term unemployment (which can include students) has fallen by 7,000 from last month’s figure and is now 132,000.

The youth long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance count (but not UC) remains far behind, at 18,600. The count fell by 900 this month.

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

Adult long-term unemployment on the survey measure is now 288,000. The Jobseeker’s Allowance measure is 145,000.