Unemployment and employment levels on the up

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Female unemployment rose between November and January, but the number of people in employment increased as fewer people opted out of the workforce due to caring responsibilities or pension changes.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people in work rose by 168,000 between November and January compared to the three months earlier. Unemployment stands at 4.3%.  There were 24,000 more people registered as unemployed in the same period. The increase is due to a 0.3% rise in female unemployment. Male unemployment has fallen.

The reason is the falling number of economically inactive people – including stay at home parents and carers.  This is partly due to changes in the retirement age for women.  Some 70.9% of women aged from 16 to 64 were in work, the highest employment rate for women since comparable records began in 1971. The ONS figures also show the number of people who are employed has risen, while the number who are self employed has fallen.

The ONS says latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.6% excluding bonuses, and by 2.8% including bonuses, compared with a year earlier. Inflation is currently at 2.7%.



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