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 506.

    @500"Again you speak from pure ignorance "

    Not so, I spent two periods of unemployment in the 80's and 90's. On both occasions I ended it by taking menial low paid jobs. I didn't want to, but back then the benefits system didn't support my lifestyle as it does for some people today. From memory, I think "income support" was less that 30 quid a week in the early 80's.

    Don't call me ignorant!

  • rate this

    Comment number 505.

    @497.Boro Jonesy
    ..Stop printing money into banks and print it into tax cuts. The QE needs to go directly into the economy, not sit behind some giant dam waiting to release hyperinflation when confidence returns

    QE (operated correctly) doesn't cause inflation, unfortunately putting the QE money directly into the economy mightdo (depends exactly how & method). I'm not saying no, just care required

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    How greater news is that? Unemployment has only gone down by less than 0.02%!

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.

    499. They just made their own reporting rules. No consistency, inability to 'track' historics. The same accusation applies to all parties.

  • rate this

    Comment number 502.

    442. LUFCAT,
    yes 510k more in work than a year ago 2/3 of them part time.
    212k in the last quarter, 125k of the part time.
    Thats nearly half the 512k. jobs just this summer. Lots of extra for the Olympics and seasonal jobs.Then factor in 250k net immigration
    Lets see the next quarters figures. Take of the rose tinted spectacles. Things aren't as good as you'd like to think.

  • rate this

    Comment number 501.

    I am taking these figures with a pinch of salt. They are not a true reflection of employment as they don't take all factors into account. Its a bias way of putting the point you want out, thinking we are stupid and ill educated. There is a distinct lack of full time work the fall is made up of part time work where the figures are counted more than once hence the fall its just political effluent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    490 Engineer Neil. Again you speak from pure ignorance try actually getting those jobs you mention if you have an education. You will find you hear this line "sorry you are over-qualified for the job. we don't want to interview you because we feel you'll move on to another job in a few months". If you want proof see the BBC article that detailed how Jobcentres were tell people to hide education.

  • rate this

    Comment number 499.

    493. Scumbagmillionaire
    We're not seriously expected to believe this are we?......There's real truth in the addage: There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Unlike the last lot, they've actually changed the rules to be more honest and include more people - especially regarding youth unemployment. I know that we were lied to in many many ways by Labour for 13 years, but things are changing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.

    @492 "Some of the posters on here amaze me. How can you be against a fall in unemployment, whether it's part time, low paid or not"

    Because they're reds and they have an itch that needs scratching. I swear some of them would resign just so that they can moan about being unemployed because it fits their politics.

    No pleasing some folk.

  • rate this

    Comment number 497.

    Many jobs are part time, even amongst the full time jobs the rates of pay are dreadful. This can't promote growth if people are just scraping by and unable to spend to boos the economy.

    Stop printing money into banks and print it into tax cuts. The QE needs to go directly into the economy, not sit behind some giant dam waiting to release hyperinflation when confidence returns

  • rate this

    Comment number 496.

    re 480 - regardless of views on the Phillips curve or what causese low/high inflation govts do not create/implement full employment - Bliar and Clown tried i

    They most certainly did not & all modern Govts use the economic theories which include the Philips curve. it contributes to the calculation for the structural balance thus a level of unemployment is built into the economy

  • rate this

    Comment number 495.


    They only chase you to get your CV on their database. They then do sod all with it. Have you ever wondered why they never call you back, or hasnt your CV been online long enough to find that out yet?

  • rate this

    Comment number 494.

    @479.Knee in the bake from Albertz

    Just like to add I'm in very similar situation. I've spent years in UK education system getting really highly qualified (I'm a Biochemist), got fed up having a terrible time in england employment, money and lifestyle wise, so I moved to Canada. I got a great job, great pay, great living conditions/lifestyle, never looked back.

  • rate this

    Comment number 493.

    We're not seriously expected to believe this are we? This figure excludes a huge number of people not eligible, yet-to-be-processed, claiming 'other' benefits, in training etc., etc. There's real truth in the addage: There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

  • rate this

    Comment number 492.

    Some of the posters on here amaze me. How can you be against a fall in unemployment, whether it's part time, low paid or not. Being unemployed is unbelievably low paid and leads to all kinds of social problems.

    It seems like many of you hate this news because it's under a conservative/lib dem government. Whatever your political persuasion, we should all welcome this news as it's good for us all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 491.

    "you get no help if you already have another degree"

    So just because you chose to do a vanity degree instead of a sensible one that would earn you money you expect the tax-payer to pay for (yet another) degree for you?
    Try using the one you have to get a job a pay for your own course!

  • rate this

    Comment number 490.

    It's interesting to read the endless complaints from single folk about there not being any jobs, yet it's funny how the Poles et al don't seem to have any problems finding work here.

    What the moaners really mean is "I can't find a 9-5 job paying 40K within 1 mile of home". Swallow your pride and take ANY job and treat it as a springboard if necessary.

  • rate this

    Comment number 489.

    Where does that leave a person with no employment and not claiming benefits? Double whammy. Eeking out redundancy *and* paying full cost tertiary education costs. The sums don't add up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 488.

    Far better people share the jobs there are by part time working than some have it all and the others nothing. If things get better they will be in place to add to their hours.

  • rate this

    Comment number 487.


    I'm basing it off the average 20 hour part time jobs that seem to be springing up everywhere. Assuming the PT worker gets no help, then with rent / council tax alone they will use up all their wage before they get to actually eat.

    So HB/CT applies to PT work. That means instead of having 1 person fully employed and 1 person on full JS, you have 2 people on HB.and other benefits


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