Unemployment back to pre-coronavirus pandemic level

Employment in the UK: March 2022

  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9%, 0.2 percentage points lower than the previous three-month period, and returning to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.3%, 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous quarter, and 1.1 percentage point higher than before the coronavirus pandemic.
  • November 2021 to January 2022 estimates show a continuing recovery in the labour market compared with the previous three-month period (August to October 2021), with an increase in the employment rate and a decrease in the unemployment rate, while economic inactivity increased on the quarter.
  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.6%, 0.1 percentage points higher than the previous three-month period, but 1.0 percentage points lower than before the coronavirus pandemic (December 2019 to February 2020).

A continuing recovery in the labour market

Employment in the UK: January 2022

  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.1%, 0.1 percentage points higher than before the pandemic but 0.4 percentage points lower than the previous three-month period.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.3%, 1.0 percentage point higher than before the pandemic and 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous three-month period.
  • September to November 2021 estimates showed a continuing recovery in the labour market with an increase in the employment rate and a decrease in the unemployment rate compared with the previous three-month period (June to August 2021).
  • Total hours worked decreased slightly compared with the previous three-month period and are still below pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, despite the loosening of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.3%: 1.0 percentage point higher than before the pandemic and 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous three-month period.

Unemployment still higher than pre-pandemic

Employment in the UK: November 2021

  • The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.3%, 0.3 percentage points higher than before the pandemic, but 0.5 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.
  • The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 21.1%, 0.9 percentage points higher than before the pandemic, but largely unchanged on the quarter.
  • July to September 2021 estimates show a continuing recovery in the labour market, with a quarterly increase in the employment rate, while the unemployment rate decreased, and the economic inactivity rate was largely unchanged.
  • Total hours worked increased on the quarter with the relaxation of many coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.
  • The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.4%, 1.1 percentage points lower than before the coronavirus pandemic (December 2019 to February 2020), but 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous quarter (April to June 2021).

Unemployment falling

Employment in the UK: April 2021: ONS

December 2020 to February 2021 estimates show a quarterly decrease in the unemployment rate, the first quarterly decrease since October to December 2019. The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.9%, 0.9 percentage points higher than a year earlier but 0.1 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.

The UK economic inactivity rate was estimated at 20.9%, 0.7 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.

The UK employment rate was estimated at 75.1%, 1.4 percentage points lower than a year earlier and 0.1 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.

Unemployment rises to 5.1%

Labour Market Overview: February 2021 – ONS

The UK unemployment rate, in the three months to December 2020, was estimated at 5.1%, 1.3 percentage points higher than a year earlier and 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.

The UK employment rate, in the three months to December 2020, was estimated at 75.0%, 1.5 percentage points lower than a year earlier and 0.3 percentage points lower than the previous quarter.

In January 2021, 726,000 fewer people were in payrolled employment when compared with February 2020.

In January 2021, 83,000 more people were in payrolled employment when compared with December 2020; this is the second consecutive monthly increase.