August Labour Market Update

A further 37,100 people claimed JSA over the last month, and the claimant count is now 0.3 percentage points higher this time last year.

Briefing published on 18 August 2011 by Paul Swinney

Surprise rise in unemployment triggers further questions about growth

There was a surprise increase in the unemployment rate in the three months to June.  Compared to the three months to March, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points. Other labour market indicators have also seen a deterioration.  Redundancies increased by 32,000 over the quarter.  And the claimant count continued its recent upward trend in July, rising by 0.1 percentage points to 4.9 percent.

A further 37,100 people claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance over the month, and the claimant count is now 0.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier.  But using this data as further evidence of a slowdown in the UK’s economic recovery must be done with caution.  Despite increases in unemployment, the number of people in employment increased in the three months to June too.  And as page 2 shows, employer demand for workers may actually be increasing despite the headline increase in unemployment.