Number of JSA claimants falls but unemployment is up

Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:10
Written by Vicki Mitchem

The number of people on Jobseeker's Allowance has fallen again according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics.

This has been replicated across the country, with the number of claimants falling in every region of England as well as Wales and Scotland. The number of new Jobseeker's Allowance claims is also at its lowest level for over four years.

The number of young people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance is also down by 2,800 on the month, and is 65,400 lower than last year.

Today's figures show employment was broadly flat over the quarter – down by 2,000 to 29.70m – but the number of people in full-time posts rose by 60,000. The number of people in temporary work fell by 55,000.

The number of people classed as unemployed increased by 70,000, but most of this is accounted for by a 57,000 fall in inactivity – those people who are neither in work nor looking for work. Unemployment is still 71,000 lower than it was a year ago.

As reforms to the welfare system mean more people entering the labour market to look for work, the level of inactivity has fallen by 285,000 over the past year, and is now at its lowest rate since 1991. Since early 2010, the overall number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by over 270,000.

In the latest quarter the number of women in work increased by 54,000 meaning there are now more women in work than ever before.

Minister for Employment Mark Hoban said:

Today's figures show a further fall in the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, including a welcome drop amongst young people.

But there are still tough challenges ahead. We will continue to give jobseekers all the help and support they need to realise their aspirations.

Background to labour market statistics: April 2013

This month's Labour Force Survey covers December 2012 to February 2013. The claimant count is for March 2013 and the vacancy count for January to March 2013

The number of people in work fell slightly this quarter

The details are:

  • 29.70 million people were in work in December 2012 to February 2013.
  • the employment level fell by 2 thousand on the previous quarter but rose 488 thousand on the year
  • the employment rate is 71.4%, unchanged on the quarter and up 0.9 points on the year

ILO unemployment rose this quarter

The details are:

  • 2.56 million people were ILO unemployed in the December 2012 to February 2013 quarter, up 70 thousand on the previous quarter but down 71 thousand on the year
  • the ILO unemployment rate is 7.9%, up 0.2 points on the quarter but down 0.3 points on the year.

Source: DWP

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