Latest Unemployment Figures Published

The latest labour market statistics have been published by the National Audit Office. In the three month period from November 2017 to January 2018, there were 1.45 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 24,000 more than for August to October 2017 but 127,000 fewer than for a year earlier. This makes the unemployment rate 4.3%, down from 4.7% for a year earlier and close to half what it was in early 2013 in the wake of the last recession. Of these 1.45 million people, 187,000 had been unemployed for 24 months or more, which is down 23,000 on the same period a year earlier.

Youth unemployment figures tell a different story to the overall unemployment data. Youth unemployment is not declining over time. In the period from November 2017 to January 2018, there were 538,000 unemployed 16-24 year olds. This includes 180,000 full-time students looking for part-time work. This equates to 27.4% of all 16-17 year olds in the UK classified as unemployed or 126,000 of our youngest adults. Among 18-24 year olds, 10.5% are unemployed (411,000 people). So, the overall youth unemployment rate stands at 12.3%, little changed compared with a year earlier.