Unemployment statistics

How the UK’s employment rates differ by demographic

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Landing that job you really want is a great feeling and it can do wonders for your self-esteem, as well as making it possible to save for the future. But how many of us have a job to begin with? We’ve looked into the employment rates in the UK and investigated how many Brits are currently working , where the highest employment rates in the UK are and compared the differences between men and women.

Quick overview

  • 32.75 million people in the UK are employed, 354,000 more than in 2018.
  • Employment rates for men (80.2%) were higher than for women (72%) in 2019
  • 1.29 million people (3.8%) were unemployed in 2019, 116,000 less than in 2018
  • Unemployment rates were higher for men (4%) than for women (3.6%) in 2019
  • The average full-time employee works 37.4 hours a week
  • The industry that’s seen the biggest increase in number of workers is professional scientific and technical industry, with 149,000 more jobs than in 2018

32.75 million people

Employed in the UK in 2019, 354,000 more than the year before.

Employment rates

In March to May 2019:

  • 32.75 million people were in work in the UK
  • This was an increase of 354,000 from 2017
  • The employment rate was 76%
  • The unemployment rate was 3.8%
  • 1.29 million people were unemployed

Employment rates by UK region

Region Percentage
Northern Ireland 71.7%
Scotland 75.8%
Wales 75.3%
East Midlands 76.8%
East Of England 78.9%
Greater London 75.0%
North East 70.8%
North West 74.6%
South East 79.5%
South West 80.1%
West Midlands 74.0%
Yorkshire And Humber 73.4%

Key insights

  • The most employed region was the South West at 80.1%
  • The lowest employment rate was in the North East at 70.4%
  • Yorkshire and The Humber experienced the biggest shift in employment rate, dropping by 1.5%
  • Unemployment rate was the highest in Yorkshire and The Humber at 5%
  • Inactivity rate was the highest in Northern Ireland at 25.9%
The generation struggling the most to get a job is the generation Z (16-24 years old) as 11.6% of them are unemployed. Out of the millennials (25-34 years old) 3.4% are unemployed, and 2.6% of the age group 35-49 years old does currently not hold an employment. People aged over 65 years old has the lowest unemployment rate as only 1.2% are currently unemployed, but that might be due to retirement.

Data tables: see the stats in each region

Region Employment rate (%) aged 16 to 64 years Change on Dec 2018 to Feb 2019 Unemployment rate (%) aged 16 years and over Change on Dec 2018 to Feb 2019 Inactivity rate (%) aged 16 to 64 years Change on Dec 2018 to Feb 2019
UK 76 -0.1 3.8 -0.1 20.9 0.2
Great Britain 76.2 -0.1 3.8 -0.2 20.7 0.2
England 76.3 -0.1 3.9 -0.1 20.6 0.2
North East 70.8 -0.1 5.6 0 24.9 0.1
North West 74.6 -0.5 4.1 0.3 22.1 0.3
Yorkshire and The Humber 73.4 -1.5 5 0.1 22.6 1.4
East Midlands 76.8 0.5 4.2 0 19.8 -0.5
West Midlands 74 -0.4 4.8 -0.4 22.2 0.8
East 78.9 -0.3 2.8 -0.3 18.8 0.6
London 75 0.1 4.3 -0.2 21.6 -0.1
South East 79.5 0.7 2.8 -0.4 18.1 -0.3
South West 80.1 0.1 2.6 0 17.7 -0.1
Wales 75.3 -0.2 3.8 -0.7 21.6 0.8
Scotland 75.8 0.2 3.3 0 21.6 -0.1
Northern Ireland 71.7 0.5 3.1 0.1 25.9 -0.6

Change in average hours worked per week by employment type

Employment type Weekly average in 2019 (Mar – May) Change from 2018 (Mar – May)
Full-time workers 37.4 hours + 0.4 hours
Part-time workers 16.3 hours No change

UK workers in full-time employment appear to be working longer hours than they did this time last year with the average hours rising by 0.4. Part-time workers are working the same amount of hours as they did this time last year at 16.3 hours per week.

Change of employment levels by industry, March 2018–2019

Job type Change in thousands
Construction 55
Transport and storage 71
Accommodation and food services 45
Information and communication 86
Professional scientific and technical 149
Education 43
Human health and social work 76
Arts entertainment and recreation 49
Other jobs 15

The Professional scientific and technical industry has seen the highest increase in workers, with 149,000 more jobs in March 2019 than the year before.

Source

All statistics seen on this page are from the ONS.

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
UK Communications Manager
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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