32.9 million people aged 16 and over are currently in employment, 113,000 more than a year earlier – but 220,000 fewer than the previous quarter.


First published in August 2020.


The latest employment figures release from the UK’s Office for National Statistics have revealed the largest quarterly fall since the financial crisis – a total drop of 220,000 people from January-March to April-June. That equates to a decrease of 0.7%, a figure only surpassed by the second quarter of 2009.

Despite this, unemployment is not rising.

Looking more closely at the decreases in employment by age, those aged 16-24 decreased by 100,000 to 3.72 million, while those aged 65+ decreased by a record 161,000 to 1.26 million. This was partially offset by those aged 25-64, who increased by 41,000 to 27.94 million.

The ONS explains: “To be unemployed someone has to say that they do not have a job and that they are currently actively seeking and available for work”, adding that due to the impact of the coronavirus: “a group of employees have reported that they are temporarily away from work and not getting paid. Similarly, there are a group of self-employed people who are temporarily away from work but not eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.”

Percentage change on previous quarter of number of people in employment in the UK from 2007 to 2020. / Statista





[This piece was first published in Statista & written by Martin Armstrong, Data Journalist at Statista.]

(Cover: Wikipedia/J J Ellison.)


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