UK Employment Analysis

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BBC Economics Correspondent, Dharshini David, reports on the latest UK employment analysis according to the Office for National Statistics.  More than half of the 329,000 jobs created from January to October this year went to people who are no longer economically inactive – i.e. they, rather than demographics, are the main reason for the expansion in the workforce.

There are:

  • 52,000 fewer long-term sick than for a year ago
  • 45,000 fewer (of 16-64) retired than a year ago
  • 41,000 fewer students than for a year earlier
  • 46,000 fewer than for a year ago aren’t working due to looking after family/home

The ONS doesn’t describe in detail why this happens but factors such as the squeeze on incomes, relative cost of staying in education, benefit changes, more stringent disability assessments, better job prospects are likely to be contributing aspects.

What is clear in the latest three months is that the rate of job creation, at 96,000 is struggling to keep up with the latest drop in inactivity, some 95,000 and demographics – hence unemployment rising 21,000.  All of these are for 16-64 year olds.

Inactivity among 64-year olds is up 150,000 in last year, hopefully due to the bait of attractive, gold-plated pensions.