The number of unemployed people, the unemployment rate and the claimant count have increased. The number of vacancies has fallen. Growth in average earnings, including and excluding bonuses, has fallen. The employment rate has fallen but the number of people in employment has increased slightly on the quarter. The number of inactive people of working age and the inactivity rate have fallen.
The unemployment rate was 6.5 per cent for the three months to January 2009. This is up 0.5 percentage points from the previous three months and up 1.3 percentage points on the year. The number of unemployed people was 2.03 million. This is up 165,000 from the previous three months and up 421,000 over the year.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance benefit in February 2009 was 1.39 million. It is up 138,400 from the revised figure for January 2009 and up 595,600 on the year. This is the largest monthly increase in the claimant count since comparable records began in 1971.
In the three months to January 2009, 266,000 people became redundant in the three months prior to the Labour Force Survey interviews. This is up 86,000 on the previous three months and up 154,000 on the year. This is the highest figure since comparable records began in 1995.
The working age employment rate for the three months to January 2009 was 74.1 per cent, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous three months and down 0.7 percentage points on the year. The total employment level rose by 2,000 over the previous three months but fell by 75,000 over the year to reach 29.38 million. The number of hours worked per week fell by 2.3 million on the quarter to reach 935.7 million.
The number of people employed in the public sector was 5.78 million in December 2008, up 15,000 on the quarter and up 30,000 on the year. The number of people employed in the private sector was 23.60 million, down 13,000 on the quarter and down 105,000 on the year.