The unemployment rate in the UK edged down to 5% in the three months to January, from 5.1% in the previous period and below market forecasts of 5.2%. Still, the jobless rate remains the highest in 5 years as the country was under a coronavirus lockdown in January and would have been even higher if not for the government Job Retention Scheme which is supporting about 4 million jobs, that is, one in five employees. The employment rate was unchanged at 75% and inactivity edged up to 21%, largely driven by students. There were an estimated 601,000 vacancies in the three months to February. Separate figures based on tax data show the number of employees on payrolls rose for a third consecutive month in February. The increase of 68,000 still left the total down by 693,000 from February last year. Growth in average earning including bonuses accelerated to 4.8%, the fastest since 2008. source: Office for National Statistics

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom averaged 6.86 percent from 1971 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 11.90 percent in April of 1984 and a record low of 3.40 percent in December of 1973. This page provides the latest reported value for - United Kingdom Unemployment Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United Kingdom Unemployment Rate - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on April of 2021.

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom is expected to be 5.20 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom to stand at 5.60 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 6.10 percent in 2022 and 5.10 percent in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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United Kingdom Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5.00 5.10 11.90 3.40 1971 - 2021 percent Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-12-15 07:00 AM Oct 4.9% 4.8% 5.1% 5.0%
2021-01-26 07:00 AM Nov 5% 4.9% 5.1% 5.1%
2021-02-23 07:00 AM Dec 5.1% 5% 5.1% 5.2%
2021-03-23 07:00 AM Jan 5% 5.1% 5.2% 5.1%
2021-04-20 06:00 AM Feb 5% 5.1% 5.1%
2021-05-18 06:00 AM Mar
2021-06-15 06:00 AM Apr
2021-07-15 06:00 AM May


News Stream
UK Jobless Rate Lower than Forecasts
The unemployment rate in the UK edged down to 5% in the three months to January, from 5.1% in the previous period and below market forecasts of 5.2%. Still, the jobless rate remains the highest in 5 years as the country was under a coronavirus lockdown in January and would have been even higher if not for the government Job Retention Scheme which is supporting about 4 million jobs, that is, one in five employees. The employment rate was unchanged at 75% and inactivity edged up to 21%, largely driven by students. There were an estimated 601,000 vacancies in the three months to February. Separate figures based on tax data show the number of employees on payrolls rose for a third consecutive month in February. The increase of 68,000 still left the total down by 693,000 from February last year. Growth in average earning including bonuses accelerated to 4.8%, the fastest since 2008.
2021-03-23
UK Jobless Rate Highest in Almost 5 Years
The unemployment rate in the UK increased to 5.1% in the three months to December of 2020 from 5% in the previous period and in line with forecasts. It remains the highest jobless rate since the three months to August 2016, as the country was under another national coronavirus lockdown in December. Still, unemployment has been held down by the government’s Job Retention Scheme which is supporting about 4 million jobs, that is, one in five employees. The employment rate continued to fall to 75% while the number of vacancies rose by 64K to 599K in the three months to January. The number of redundancies rose by 29K to 343K, the least since the second quarter. Meanwhile, average earnings growth accelerated more quickly than expected to 4.7%, the highest since 2008 driven in part by compositional effects of a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs, and by increased bonuses, which had been postponed earlier in the year.
2021-02-23
UK Jobless Rate Edges Up to 5%
The unemployment rate in the UK edged up to 5 percent in the three months to November of 2020 from 4.9 percent in the previous period and slightly below forecasts of 5.1 percent. It is the 5th consecutive month of rising unemployment to a new high since the three months to August 2016, as a number of coronavirus lockdown measures were reintroduced. The employment rate continued to fall to 72.5 percent, the number of redundancies reached a record high of 14.2 thousand and vacancies fell to 578 thousand. Also, the number of people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay has risen slightly over the last month.
2021-01-26
UK Jobless Rate Rises Less than Expected
The unemployment rate in the UK increased to 4.9 percent in the three months to October of 2020, compared to 4.8 percent in the previous period and below forecasts of 5.1 percent. It is the highest jobless rate since the three months to August 2016, as the coronavirus continued to hit the labour market. The redundancies reached a record high of 370,000, and the employment rate continued to fall to 75.2 percent. At the same time, total hours worked had a record increase from the low levels in the previous quarter as the number of coronavirus lockdown measures were eased early in August and September. On a positive note, the number of people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay has fallen since its peak in April and May 2020.
2020-12-15

United Kingdom Unemployment Rate
In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.