The unemployment rate has dropped to the lowest figure since April 2009, with women accounting for the biggest drop in the three months to July, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
While the number of unemployed men rose by 9,000 from the three months to April. The number of unemployed women was 1.10 million in the three months to July 2012, down 16,000 from the three months to April. However, the number of long-term unemployed was up, with those who have been unemployed for over one year up 22,000 from the three months to April and those who have been unemployed for over two years up 9,000 from the three months to April.
The ONS figures also show part-time workers and underemployment are rising. The number of full-time workers increased by 102,000 on the previous quarter to reach 21.44 million and the number of part-time workers increased by 134,000 to reach 8.12 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992. The number of employees and self-employed people who were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 24,000 on the quarter to reach 1.42 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.
The figures show second jobs are the only employment category in the UK to have declined in the three months to July, and also the only one where people worked longer hours. The number of workers with second jobs declined by 20,000 from 1.14 in the previous quarter to 1.12m. Men were much more likely than women to take on longer hours in a second job.
Meanwhile, the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell by 15,000 between July and August 2012 to reach 1.57 million.