The UK unemployment rate stood at 3.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, unchanged from the previous three-month period and below market expectations of 4.2 percent, as many people gave up looking for work and who were therefore not considered to be unemployed. Meanwhile, employment fell by 220 thousand to 32.92 million, the largest quarterly drop since May to July 2009, as the coronavirus pandemic hit the labor market. A large number of people were estimated to be temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers; approximately 7.5 million in June with over 3 million of these being away for three months or more. There were also around 300,000 people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay in June.

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom averaged 6.91 percent from 1971 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 12 percent in February of 1984 and a record low of 3.40 percent in November 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 August of 2020. source: Office for National Statistics

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom is expected to be 6.90 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 6.30 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 6.00 percent in 2021 and 4.60 percent in 2022, according to our econometric models.

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United Kingdom Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
3.90 3.90 12.00 3.40 1971 - 2020 percent Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2020-05-19 06:00 AM Mar 3.9% 4% 4.4% 4.3%
2020-06-16 06:00 AM Apr 3.9% 3.9% 4.7% 4.4%
2020-07-16 06:00 AM May 3.9% 3.9% 4.2% 4.2%
2020-08-11 06:00 AM Jun 3.9% 3.9% 4.2% 4.2%
2020-09-15 06:00 AM Jul 3.9% 4.5%
2020-10-13 06:00 AM Aug 7.2%
2020-11-10 07:00 AM Sep 6.9%
2020-12-15 07:00 AM Oct 6.8%


News Stream
UK Jobless Rate Flat as Fewer People Look for Work
The UK unemployment rate stood at 3.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020, unchanged from the previous three-month period and below market expectations of 4.2 percent, as many people gave up looking for work and who were therefore not considered to be unemployed. Meanwhile, employment fell by 220 thousand to 32.92 million, the largest quarterly drop since May to July 2009, as the coronavirus pandemic hit the labor market. A large number of people were estimated to be temporarily away from work, including furloughed workers; approximately 7.5 million in June with over 3 million of these being away for three months or more. There were also around 300,000 people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay in June.
2020-08-11
UK Jobless Rate Steady at 3.9% As Inactivity Rate Rises
The UK unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent in the three months to May of 2020, the same as in the previous period and below market expectations of 4.2 percent as the inactivity rate grew by 0.2 percentage points to 20.4 percent as more people who are out of work are not looking for a job. There were other signs of the weakness in the labour market: employment decreased by 126,000, the most since July to September 2011; job vacancies were at 333,000, the lowest level since the Survey began in 2001; total weekly hours worked was 877.1 million, down a record 175.1 million hours on the previous quarter. Also, total pay fell by 0.3 percent on the year, the first fall in earnings since June of 2014. On the positive note, unemployment fell by 17,000 between March and May to 1.35 million despite the coronavirus lockdown.
2020-07-16
UK Jobless Rate Steady at 3.9% Despite Lockdown
The UK unemployment rate was at 3.9 percent in the three months to April 2020, the same as in the previous period and below market expectations of 4.7 percent, as the government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme helped funding employees wages during lockdown. The number of people out of work fell by 8,000 to 1.34 million, while the number of employed people rose by 6,000 to 32.99 million. The activity rate was at 79.5 percent, lower than March’s all-time high of 79.8 percent. However, the number of people on company payrolls fell by 1.7 percent in May and job vacancies dropped at a record 476K between March and May (-342K than in the previous quarter). Data collected was based on interviews that took place throughout the period from the start of February to the end of April 2020, covering a full month of the covid-19 lockdown.
2020-06-16
UK Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Falls to 3.9%
The UK unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in the three months to March 2020 from 4.0 percent in the previous period and below market expectations of 4.4 percent. The number of people out of work increased by 58,000 to 1.35 million, while the number of employed people rose by 211,000 to a record high of 33.14 million. The activity rate hit was at an all-time high of 79.8 percent. Data was based on interviews that took place throughout the period from the start of January to the end of March 2020, covering only one week of the coronavirus lockdown.
2020-05-19

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.