UK unemployment falls to 2.53 million


Employment Minister Mark Hoban: "People do want to work and there are jobs out there for them"

The number of people out of work in the UK has continued to decline.

Unemployment fell by 50,000 to 2.53m in the three months to August, taking the jobless rate down to 7.9% from 8.1%.

The number of people in employment rose to a record of almost 30 million, the Office for National Statistics said.

The government said it was positive news, but Labour highlighted the growing numbers of people in temporary or part-time work because they could not get full-time, permanent jobs.

The ONS figures show that some 1.57 million people claimed Jobseeker's Allowance in September, a fall of 4,000 on the previous month.

A combination of more jobs being created and more people entering the workforce pushed the absolute number of people in employment to 29.6 million, the highest since these records began in 1971.

The percentage of people in work rose to 71.3%, the best rate since April 2009.

Temporary jobs

"It's a real landmark to see more people in work than ever before," Employment Minister Mark Hoban said.

Case study

Becky Warner

Becky Warner from Bedford has just found a full-time job after a two-year search:

I was doing numerous temping jobs that had nothing to do with helping me in my career, and I was taking these jobs for really low amounts of money because at least it was something.

I became so depressed, I ended up in hospital because I couldn't find work anywhere. It was always the same, having an interview, but missing the cut because of "lack of experience".

I signed up to at least 15 different agencies so I could get help looking for jobs. I've recently just got a full-time job, and I feel so much better about myself, but I know how hard it is being unemployed.

My best advice is to keep strong, keep focused, and never give up. Keep fighting, because if you want it that badly, you will achieve what you've wanted.

"Despite the tough economic times, the private sector continues to create jobs and our welfare reforms are encouraging people to return to work."

The government also noted that there were more job opportunities available, with the number of unfilled vacancies at 476,000, up 3,000 on the quarter and 17,000 from the same period last year.

Labour questioned the quality of the jobs, however.

"For those people who are in work, more will be on temporary contracts than for a very long time - the highest for 10 years," shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne told the BBC.

"About 60% of the jobs created since the general election are either self-employed or part-time.

"People in Britain are busting a gut and doing whatever it takes to get into work, but it just looks like the government are doing nothing to help them," he said.

Speaking in the House of Commons, the prime minister said the government had responded, but recognised long-term unemployment was still too-high and more needed to be done.

"That is why the Work Programme has helped 693,000 people already and we are prepared to spend up to £14,000 on one individual to help them get back to work," David Cameron said, referring to the government's main scheme which aims to find jobs for those who have been unemployed for more than six months.

Start Quote

There has been no shortage of economic pain since 2007. What is striking is that the pain has been much more evenly distributed than when we have lurched from boom to bust in the past”

End Quote

This is often contracted out to private firms who get paid for placing people in work.

"We do have the measures in place to tackle this scourge," he said during Prime Minister's Questions.

In reply, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "The longer young people remain out of work, the greater the damage, not just now, but to their long-term prospects and the greater the damage to our economy."

Before the figures were released, the government announced the extension of its New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which it says will help 33,000 more jobseekers benefit from advice from a mentor to draw up a business plan.

The situation also improved for women and young people - two groups that have been particularly hard hit during this recession.

"There are more women in work than at any time in our history and actually the overall level of employment is now above where it was before the crash in 2008," David Cameron told parliament.

Mayele Malaba: "I've been to so many interviews I can't even count them"

The number of women out of work dropped by 19,000 to 1.08 million, while the number of men out of work dropped by 31,000 to 1.44 million.

The number of unemployed 16-24-year-olds fell by 62,000 in the three months to August to 957,000. Almost a third of those are in full-time education.

Average earnings increased by 1.7% in the year to July, which was a small increase from the previous month.

The picture on unemployment differed across the UK:

  • In Scotland, unemployment increased by 7,000 to 222,000
  • In Wales, the number out of work fell by 7,000 to 125,000
  • In England, the drop was 59,000, taking the total to 2.11 million
  • In Northern Ireland, the number out of work rose by 10,000 to 70,000

Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland all have unemployment rates above the UK average of 7.9%.

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Claimant count - June 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 426.

    David H, you need to check what's going on you should be getting £142/2 weeks unless you've high savings - they have lied to you.

    418 Metalhead - I don't know if you've ever been educated and tried to apply for these jobs. if you had you would know that what you get back will be "sorry we would prefer those without an eduction, and they don't move on after 3 months". Somuch ignorance,lackexperie

  • rate this

    Comment number 425.

    I come from an area of extreme unemployment. Yes unemployment falls in the summer months only because of part time seasonal low paid jobs. For the rest of the year unemployed rises steeply over the winter months and over Chirstmas. This govenment has had it wrong all along when they say that cutting benefits will make people back to work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 424.

    With this news following from yesterday's slowdown in rate of inflation, whether you agree with the governments economic policies or not, it's hard to disagree they are slowly but surely working. As a member of the much touted '16-24' bracket and having recently found a (permanent) job, it has been through the much-vaunted 'Works' Programme'. 'Quality of job' isn't my main concern. 'Job' is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 423.

    404. LUFCAT, Did you read the report? Numbers dropped by 50k, where do you get 200k from? Net immigration 250k yr, thats 62k every 3 months. Don't you see that.50k more people in work isn't great. Compared to the rise in number of people in the country. How the Gov manage to manipulate the figures to try and make us all feel good I don't know.

  • rate this

    Comment number 422.

    I swear alot of the Tory/UKIP posters on here are the same that ring up Talk Radio Stations in London muttering the usual diatribe : "It's Powitical cowectness gawn maaad"
    "I mean wot did Blair say , he sed educashun educashun educashun"
    " And Labour they wouldnt let me wear my England top cos it offended the ethnics"
    "I don't wanna president Blair".
    " I like my bananas bendy ".

  • rate this

    Comment number 421.

    Great news but to be treated with caution. I agree with others commenting that the temporary effect of short term and part time employment due to the Olympics might be disguising a worse position than it seems. It's still difficult to see where the long term growth will come from.

  • rate this

    Comment number 420.

    when I recently complained to my JC advisor that the people on the desks appeared to be trying to trick claimants into making themselves ineligible she told me 'that's our remit'. When I pointed out her union had told her to strike because of pension cuts, she said she didn't see how the two things were linked.... discuss.

  • rate this

    Comment number 419.

    401.Keithy - Basingstoke
    David H.... you must have not suffered, I suspect you work the Govt. Very proud of your knowledge. have a comment when you've seen the other side of the fence like the rest of us.
    I'am on the other side, redundant after just over 36 years,
    bar 3 months in 2005. I intially received JSA contribution based,
    Now income based, I get £110.75 every 2 weeks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 418.

    As noted by a lot of people there are a lot of jobs..ok they may not be the best jobs or the ones you studied for (how much use is media studies in the real world). When I started out I didn't get my current job, however I did other jobs including part time and unpaid work until the opportunity came round.

  • rate this

    Comment number 417.

    We all know that the Conservatives abandoned the moderate ground they pretended to occupy before the election. That means the usual nasty stuff of being gratuitously vile to the unemployed AND low earners, and also that they are happy to lie and cheat to absolutely any degree. We are all so familiar with their rubbish now. Wait until post Olympic statistics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 416.

    Does that figure include the long-term unemployed, or those on incapacity?

    Does that figure include the unemployed who have more than 16k across their and their partners bank accounts, and therefore can't claim benefits?

    Also consider those who can only find part-time jobs as well.

    Labour or Tory - They never tell the true story.

  • rate this

    Comment number 415.

    400.Big John the Red

    Too true. I can expand your collection. If someone wants a job, children, a house etc. then they best not do a degree in science, not in this country. I'm a scientist and I wouldn't trade the wonders I have seen for all the banks in the World. Not sure I would bother with a science degree now though, they don't do much real science anymore, more like corporate technology.

  • rate this

    Comment number 414.

    how many have been kick off benafit guess it has nothing to do with the new rule that just came in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 413.


    OK blaming the Labour Party, are we the only Country in the Mire?
    This is caused by Conservatives Worldwide & their 'I am all right Jack' attitudes to society

  • rate this

    Comment number 412.

    How many 'volunteers' signed up for the Olympics?

    If you're not available for work, you can't be unemployed so perhaps mistakenly counted as 'in work'?

    Or are the figures another 'computer modelling' error (as in DOT rail fiasco)?

  • rate this

    Comment number 411.


    Shame that politicians and others can't experience the same 'being taken down a peg', eh? Seen too much, yet not enough. Pessimism, or realism? Too young to retire, yet too old and cynical.

  • rate this

    Comment number 410.

    Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics!

  • rate this

    Comment number 409.

    399. Seriously are you suggesting that employers are stubbornly sitting on 2.5 million jobs until the unemployed one by one start producing CV's that Shakespeare could have written himself ?
    Well that's been the answer all along.Thankyou my good Soothsayer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 408.


    I don't think Tesco, Maccy D and Starbucks are that fussed about cv's to be fair. Yes there is plenty of low skilled service industry work but not usually in the areas it is required.

  • rate this

    Comment number 407.

    381. mattmatt81
    "And I am certainly not a pleb"
    You miss the point of the word in this context: it's a word you call *others* for a load of reasons. The term applies to almost everyone not in a real or imaginary elite. That's the point of it and "pleb" includes you.


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