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May 2018

The labour market figures published on 15 May provide present a very positive picture of the UK labour market with a strong rise in employment, and falling unemployment and economic inactivity in the latest quarter.

  • Unemployment is 1,425,000, it has risen by 1,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline is down by 46,000) and the unemployment rate 4.2%, showing no change on last month and down by 0.2 percentage points on last quarter.
  • The ONS figure for claimant unemployed is 897,000, increased by 31,200 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 1,009,000, up 6,000 on the quarter, representing 14.3% of the youth population (up by 0.1 percentage points).
  • Youth unemployment (including students) is 531,000, down by 16,000 on the quarter.
  • There are 1.7 unemployed people per vacancy. Learning and Work Institute estimates this figure may rise slightly next month.
  • The employment rate is 75.6% (up by 0.2 percentage points on last month’s published figure and rose by 0.4 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

Download the full analysis for May 2018.

Chart 1: UK unemployment (ILO)

The latest unemployment figure is 1,425,000. It has risen by 1,000 from the figure published last month. On the basis of later claimant count figures, Learning and Work Institute estimates that unemployment may continue to rise, although this remains highly uncertain. The unemployment rate remained at 4.2%.

Chart 2: Percentage unemployed not claiming Universal Credit or JSA

The proportion of unemployed people not claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance has fallen to 40.3%, (575,000).

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

Youth long-term unemployment (which can include students) has risen by 3,000 from last month’s figure and is now 131,000.

The youth long-term Jobseeker’s Allowance count (but not UC) remains far behind, at 18,100. The count fell by 200 this month.

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

Adult long-term unemployment on the survey measure is now 285,000. The Jobseeker’s Allowance measure is 150,900.