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What is happening to UK unemployment?

Geoff Riley

24th January 2020

Danny Blanchflower has encouraged us to think more deeply about underemployment as the official jobless rate has declined in recent years. In this short video he explains his own interpretation of full-employment and why, even when unemployment is below 4 per cent of the labour force, there remains plenty of slack in the jobs market.

1:11 / 1:44 What's going on with unemployment?

Here is a summary of some key stats from the UK labour market:

  • Unemployment total: 1.28 million people
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8% of the labour force
  • Employment rate: 76% of pop aged 16-64 years
  • Unfilled job vacancies: 794,000 people
  • Long term unemployed (>12 months): 350,000
  • Youth unemployment rate: 13.3%
  • Highest regional unemployment rate: North east 5.8%
  • Lowest regional unemployment rate: Northern Ireland 2.8%
  • Highest unemployment rate (local authority): Hartlepool 8.7%

In a recent revision video, we also looked at whether the UK economy can realistically reach a situation of full-employment.

Can the UK economy reach full-employment?

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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