UK Jobless Rate Steady at 4%, Lowest Since 1975


The unemployment rate in the UK was unchanged at 4 percent in the three months to August 2018, the lowest since 1975 and matching market expectations. The number of unemployed dropped by 47,000 from the March to May period while employment unexpectedly declined by 5,000, the first fall in near a year.

There were 1.36 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 47,000 fewer than for March to May 2018 and 79,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.0%; it has not been lower since December 1974 to February 1975.

There were 32.39 million people in work, little changed compared with March to May 2018 but 289,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.5%, lower than for March to May 2018 (75.7%) but higher than for a year earlier (75.1%).

There were 8.75 million people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 103,000 more than for March to May 2018 but 65,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The economic inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, higher than for March to May 2018 (21.0%) but lower than for year earlier (21.4%).

Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 3.1 percent excluding bonuses, the most since the three months to January of 2009 and by 2.7 percent including bonuses, compared with a year earlier. Meanwhile, the average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) increased by 0.7 percent excluding bonuses, and by 0.4 percent including bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

There were 832,000 job vacancies for July to September 2018, little changed from the period ended in June and 35,000 more compared to a year earlier. The industrial sector recorded the largest vacancy rate, namely accommodation and food service activities (4.1 vacancies per 100 filled employee jobs). On the other hand, the sector showing the smallest vacancy rate was public administration and defence (1.6 vacancies per 100 filled employee jobs).

UK Jobless Rate Steady at 4%, Lowest Since 1975


ONS | Stefanie Moya | stefanie.moya@tradingeconomics.com
10/16/2018 9:51:19 AM