Latest UK Labour Market And Youth Employment Statistics for March 2019

UK labour market statistics

See the latest youth employment figures and UK labour market statistics for March 2019.

The latest ONS data shows the UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%) and the highest figure on record. The data available covers the period between November 2018 to January 2019.

Headlines:

  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.1%, higher than for a year earlier (75.3%) and the highest figure on record.
  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%; it has not been lower since November 1974 to January 1975.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.7%, lower than for a year earlier (21.2%) and the lowest figure on record.
  • Excluding bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain were estimated to have increased by 3.4%, before adjusting for inflation, and by 1.4%, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a year earlier.
  • Including bonuses, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain were estimated to have increased by 3.4%, before adjusting for inflation, and by 1.5%, after adjusting for inflation, compared with a year earlier.

Estimates for November 2018 to January 2019 show 32.71 million people aged 16 years and over in employment, 473,000 more than for a year earlier. This estimated annual increase of 473,000 was due mainly to more people working full-time (up 424,000 on the year to reach 24.12 million). Part-time working also contributed with an increase of 49,000 on the year to reach 8.60 million.

YOUNG PEOPLE NOT IN EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT OR TRAINING (NEET): FEBRUARY 2019

  • There were 788,000 young people (aged 16 to 24 years) in the UK who were not in education, employment or training (NEET); this number increased by 31,000 from July to September 2018 but was down 5,000 when compared with October to December 2017.
  • The percentage of all young people in the UK who were NEET was 11.3%; the proportion was up 0.5 percentage points from July to September 2018 and up 0.1 percentage points from October to December 2017.
  • Of all young people in the UK who were NEET, 39.9% were looking for work and available for work and therefore classified as unemployed; the remainder were either not looking for work and/or not available for work and therefore classified as economically inactive.

What The Data Doesn’t Tell Us

ONS Data is compiled from the Labour Force Survey, whilst it is the most comprehensive of it’s kind it doesn’t tell the full story. For some time ourselves and others in the sector have been raising concerns about the young people hidden from this data. The definitions set out in the survey make it difficult for us to know the real movement of young people into work or through work programmes. There is growing concern that young people are not engaging with services like JobCentre Plus and therefore are not included in estimates and figures. If we can’t include these young people in the figures and they are unaware or unwilling to engage how can we make sure all young people get access to good quality support and opportunities?

Impetus PEF have explored the subject in detail and most recently London Youth have highlighted the issues in their Hidden in Plain Sight report. Whilst we celebrate record levels we have to question why youth unemployment numbers have moved half a percentage point in a year, we have worked together with a group of organisations to pull together a guide for working with marginalised young people.

Next Steps:

  • Find out more about the work we do here
  • Find out how we support organisations to be more youth friendly and how we recognise their efforts here
  • No matter what the future holds young people need skills, read more about our free Young Professional Membership here

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For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

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