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					Employment
Rate falls to 72.9%

The employment rate and the number of people in employment have fallen. The number of
unemployed people, the unemployment rate and the claimant count have all increased. The number
of vacancies has fallen. The number of inactive people of working age and the inactivity rate have
increased. Growth in average earnings, excluding bonuses, has fallen but earnings growth including
bonuses has increased.

The employment rate for people of working age was 72.9 per cent for the three months to May 2009,
down 0.9 from the previous quarter and down 2.0 over the year. This is the largest quarterly fall in the
working age employment rate since comparable records began in 1971. The total number of people
in employment for the three months to May 2009 was just under 29 million, down 269,000 over the
quarter and down 543,000 over the year.

The unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent for the three months to May 2009, up 0.9 over the previous
quarter and up 2.4 over the year. This is the largest quarterly increase in the unemployment rate
since 1981. The number of unemployed people increased by 281,000 over the quarter and by
753,000 over the year, to reach 2.38 million. This is the largest quarterly increase in the number of
unemployed people since comparable records began in 1971.

The claimant count, which measures the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance, reached
1.56 million in June 2009. It has not been higher since June 1997. The count is up 23,800 over the
previous month and up 716,800 over the year. This is the smallest monthly increase in the count
since May 2008. The number of short-term claimants (those who have been claiming for up to six
months) fell by 5,900 over the previous month to reach 1.13 million.

The redundancies level for the three months to May 2009 was 301,000, up 31,000 over the quarter
and up 182,000 over the year.

There were 429,000 job vacancies in the three months to June 2009. This is the lowest figure since
comparable records began in 2001 and it is down 35,000 over the previous quarter and down
222,000 over the year. All sectors have shown falls in vacancies over the quarter with the largest fall
occurring in finance and business services (down 16,000).

The inactivity rate for people of working age was 20.9 per cent for the three months to May 2009, up
0.1 over the previous quarter but unchanged over the year. The number of economically inactive
people of working age rose by 64,000 over the quarter and by 46,000 over the year to reach 7.92
million.

Average earnings including bonuses increased by 2.3 per cent in the three months to May 2009
compared with the previous year. Average earnings excluding bonuses increased by 2.6 per cent
over the same period. This is the lowest annual growth rate for earnings excluding bonuses since
comparable records began in 2001.

				
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posted:12/3/2009
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Description: Employment