Unemployment down, but long-term unemployment at 17-year high

Employment rose by 16,000 in the three months to May, but remained the employment rate for women remained unchanged from the previous quarter, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The number of people in full-time jobs rose by 28,000 while the number in part-time jobs fell by 12,000. The number of self-employed people fell by 28,000 to reach 4.18 million.

Unemployment fell by 57,000 to 2.51 million or 7.8%. The number of unemployed men was down 16,000 while for women the figures fell by  41,000. The number of people who had been unemployed for over one year increased by 32,000 to reach 915,000 for March-May 2013, the highest figure since 1996. Just over half of these had been out of work and looking for work for over two years, the highest figure since 1997.

The number of vacancies within the UK continued to rise to reach 529,000 for April-June 2013, the highest since 2008.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) fell by 21,200 between May and June to reach 1.48 million and, over the year, was down 117,700. The number of JSA claimants is the lowest since March 2011.  Two thirds of claimants are men.

The average weekly wage, including bonus payments, rose by 1.7% comparing March to May 2013 with the same period a year earlier. At £476 in May 2013, average weekly wages including bonus payments were £7 higher when compared with May 2012.

Average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments rose by 1.0% comparing March to May 2013 with the same period a year earlier. In cash terms, average weekly earnings excluding bonus payments were £446 in May 2013, before taxes and other deductions from gross pay; this is up from £442 a year earlier.

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