United Kingdom Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 7.8 Percent in January


The number of unemployed people rose by 7,000 comparing November 2012 to January 2013 with the previous period. The unemployment rate was 7.8 percent of the economically active population for November 2012 to January 2013. This was unchanged from August to October 2012 but down 0.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

The rise in the number of people in employment was 131,000, comparing November 2012 to January 2013 with August to October 2012. There was an increase of 151,000 in the number of people employed in the private sector with the public sector showing a fall of 20,000. There were 29.73 million people aged 16 and over in employment and the employment rate for people aged from 16 to 64 was 71.5 percent for November 2012 to January 2013.

For November 2012 to January 2013, there were 8.95 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, the lowest figure since 2006. The number of economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64 was 118,000 lower than for August to October 2012 and 320,000 lower than a year earlier. This fall in economic inactivity was partly due to fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 64 due to changes in the state pension age for women.
 
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance stayed relatively steady between January and February 2013 with only a small fall of 1,500. The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (1.5 million) is almost a million lower than the number of unemployed people; many unemployed people are not eligible for JSA.
 
Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.2 percent comparing November 2012 to January 2013 with the same period a year earlier. The annual growth in earnings was slightly lower than the 1.3 percent reported for October to December 2012. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £442 in January 2013, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay, up from £438 a year earlier.
 
There continues to be a cut in the real value of pay, as inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index was 2.7 percent between January 2012 and January 2013. The annual growth in weekly wages excluding bonuses has been continuously below inflation since August to October 2009.

ONS | Nuno Fontes | nuno@tradingeconomics.com
3/20/2013 9:36:18 AM