Labour Market LIVE update – March 2023

Here is the latest from our friends over at the Learning and Work Institute

underemployment Underemployment, in-work poverty and poverty - local authority
Underemployment – job market recession problem. Work skills word cloud.

  • Unemployment is 1,253,000, down by 17,000 from last month’s published figure (quarterly headline has risen by 5,000) and the unemployment rate, 3.7%, showed no change compared to the last quarter.
  • The ONS figure for claimant unemployed is 1,497,900, down by 11,200 on last month.
  • The number of workless young people (not in employment, full-time education or training) is 985,000, up by 63,000 on the quarter, representing 14.4% of the youth population (up by 0.9 percentage points).
  • Youth unemployment (including students) is 458,000, up by 27,000 on the quarter.
  • Vacancies in Dec 2022 – Feb 2023 (in the ONS official series) stood at 1,124,000 after recovering strongly from the low point of 329,000 in April to June 2020.
  • There are now 1.1 unemployed people per vacancy.
  • The employment rate is 75.7% (up by 0.1 percentage points on last month’s published figure and up by 0.1 percentage points in the preferred quarterly measure).

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at the Learning and Work Institute, said:

‘There are one million fewer people in the UK workforce than if pre-pandemic trends had continued. While economic inactivity fell ahead of the Government’s ‘back to work’ Budget, this was driven largely by fewer young people studying. Only one in ten out-of-work 50-64-year-olds and disabled people get help to find work each year. That’s got to change if we’re to tackle the UK’s shrinking workforce.

Real earnings fell at their sharpest rates since the global financial crisis, driven by high inflation. This 10-month fall in real wages is the backdrop to tomorrow’s Budget, the Chancellor must act further to help people through the pain. Slowing nominal wage growth in the private sector suggests that wage pressures may not be embedded in the economy, giving room for action’

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