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UK Unemployment

Labour Market Statistics

January 18 2022 - The unemployment rate stands at 4.1%. 0.4% lower than the previous quarter and down 1.0% on the year. 32.475 million people were in work in the September 2021 to November 2021 quarter according to the labour force survey (LFS). This was 171,000 more than the same quarter last year and up 60,000 on the previous quarter.

The working age employment rate was 75.5% compared with 75.3% in the previous quarter and 75.0% a year ago.

ILO-defined unemployment in the September 2021 to November 2021 quarter was estimated at 1.382 million (4.1%) - down by 356,000 on last year and down by 128,000 on the quarter.

Average wages, including bonuses rose by 4.2% and 3.8% excluding bonuses over the year. Taking inflation into account, these increases were equivalent to 0.4% and 0.0% in real value.

Frances O'Grady, TUC General Secretary commented:

"While itís good to see employment continuing to rise, on pay itís the same story of a squeeze on workers.

"Working people deserve a decent standard of living and a wage they can raise a family on. But instead, following the worse pay squeeze for two centuries, real pay is falling, and they now face a cost-of-living crisis.

"We urgently need to get pay packets rising across the economy - or too many families will have to choose between paying soaring bills or putting food on the table.

"Ministers must give unions more power to go into workplaces and negotiate better pay and conditions, give our public sector workers a decent pay rise, and get the minimum wage up to £10 an hour immediately."

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented:

"The drop in unemployment levels is, on paper, a positive for the UKís labour force. However, in the context of continued monthly increases in vacancies and pay-rolled employee numbers, this does raise further concerns of skills shortages across the country. It is promising to note from the data that the redundancy rate fell to a record low once the job retention scheme came to an end, which indicates that this was successful.

"Looking ahead, the dearth of talent in the UK is a concern that weíre expecting will remain top of the agenda for businesses. The countryís economy has recovered well so far since the pandemic, but this continued growth does hinge on the availability of a highly skilled workforce. We are still seeing the impact of Brexit play out, with sectors such as healthcare that have historically relied on international resources reporting significant skills gaps. What we need is a global talent attraction approach, but at the moment, the UK labour market isnít as appealing as it needs to be to non-UK professionals. This is particularly prevalent for the highly skilled independent contractor audience who still have no viable and attractive visa route into the country."


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