Unemployment falls

Labour Market Statistics, Sept 2013: ONS

  • The unemployment rate for May to July 2013 was 7.7% of the economically active population, down 0.1 percentage points from February to April 2013. There were 2.49 million unemployed people, down 24,000 from February to April 2013.
  • The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for May to July 2013 was 71.6%, up 0.2 percentage points from February to April 2013. There were 29.84 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 80,000 from February to April 2013.
  • The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for May to July 2013 was 22.3%, down 0.1 percentage points from February to April 2013. There were 8.96 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 33,000 from February to April 2013.
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Empty shops

One in seven shops lies empty: LDC/Retail Times

  • In H1 2013 the GB shop vacancy rate has remained stable at 14.1% (-0.1% on 2012)
  • The number of vacant shops empty shops in the top 650 town centres is 22,339
  • The number of food and beverage (leisure) units has expanded at three times the rate of shops, +0.9% v +0.3%
  • The oversupply of shops in Great Britain has already been identified but, the stock has grown in the last six months by 403 units
  • Wales has the highest national shop vacancy rate at 17.5%
  • Scotland and Wales have shown an improvement in shop vacancy rates by -0.6% and -0.5% respectively whilst England’s worsened by 0.1%
  • The best performing region by a long way (3.4%) is London at 9.4%
  • The worst performing region remains as the North West at 20.1%
  • The East Midlands has shown the greatest improvement at -0.4%
  • Shopping centres continue to have the highest overall vacancy rate at 16.1%, followed by large (13.5%) and medium (11.9%) town centres, retail parks (9.6%) and small town centres (9.2%)

Census 2011: Older people

Census 2011: Older people

  • In 2011, 9.2 million (16 per cent) usual residents of England and Wales were aged 65 and over, an increase of almost one million from 2001 (8.3 million or 16 per cent).
  • 57 per cent (5.3 million) of those aged 65 and over in 2011 were married or in a civil partnership (including those who were separated but still legally married or in a civil partnership); 53 per cent (4.3 million) of those aged 65 and over were married in 2001.
  • The proportion of those aged 65 and over who were divorced almost doubled from 5.2 per cent in 2001 to 8.7 per cent in 2011; this compares with a small rise from 8.2 per cent of the 16 and over population in 2001 to 9.0 per cent in 2011.
  • In 2011, 56 per cent (5.2 million) of those aged 65 and over were living as a couple, an increase from 52 per cent (4.3 million) in 2001. Those living as married couples increased from 51 per cent to 54 per cent and the proportion living as cohabiting couples almost doubled from 1.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent.
  • Just under a third (31 per cent) of those aged 65 and over were living alone in 2011; this was a decrease from 34 per cent in 2001.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65 and over who were living in communal establishments declined from 4.5 per cent (374,000) in 2001 to 3.7 per cent (337,000) in 2011.
  • 9 out of 10 of those aged 65 and over in England and Wales in 2011 were economically inactive, including 86 per cent who were retired; the remaining 10 per cent were economically active.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65-74 who were economically active in 2011 (16 per cent) was almost double the proportion in 2001 (8.7 per cent).
  • Half (50 per cent) of all usual residents in England and Wales aged 65 and over living in households reported very good or good health in 2011; this compared to 88 per cent for those aged under 65.
  • 14 per cent of older people living in households in England and Wales provided unpaid care in 2011, compared to 12 per cent in 2001. The largest increase in proportion was for those aged 65 and over providing 50 hours or more unpaid care a week: up from 4.3 per cent (341,000) in 2001 to 5.6 per cent (497,000) in 2011.

Shop price index

Shop price index, August 2013: BRC

  • Overall shop prices reported annual deflation for the fourth consecutive month in August, unchanged from the 0.5% decline reported in July.
  • Food inflation rose to 2.5% in August from 2.2% in July.
  • Non-food reported annual deflation of 2.3% in August from 2.1% in July.

Retail trade volumes

Retail trade volumes, July 2013: Eurostat

  • In July 2013 compared with June 2013, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.1% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.2% in the EU28
  • In June retail trade fell by 0.7% and 0.5% respectively.
  • In July 2013, compared with July 2012 , the retail sales index dropped by 1.3% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28.

European GDP

European GDP Q2, 2013: Eurostat

  • GDP rose by 0.3% in the euro area (EA17) and by 0.4% in the EU27 during the second quarter of 2013, compared with the previous quarter,
  • Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 0.5% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU27 in the second quarter of 2013, after -1.0% and -0.7% respectively in the previous quarter.

Balancing work and care

The Sandwich Generation: Older women balancing work and care: IPPR

  • Balancing care responsibilities and work is becoming increasingly difficult, particularly for older women: a ‘sandwich generation’ is emerging, whose members are caught between providing care for both grandchildren and elderly parents, often while continuing to earn and pursue their career.
  • Older women of this ‘sandwich generation’ are more likely than men to have given up work as a result of their greater caring responsibilities; this disparity is particularly acute for older women on low incomes.
  • Working grandmothers who provide informal childcare for their grandchildren are likely to be younger, in work, and belong to low-income households: 66 per cent of grandmothers who provide between 10–19 hours of childcare a week earn less than £25,999, compared to 25 per cent who earn £44,000 or more.
  • The labour market position of older women in general has greatly improved over the past 25 years, with a dramatic rise in their employment rate. The recession had a mixed impact: while their employment rates have improved, unemployment – particularly long-term unemployment – has increased.
  • Mothers aged over 45 are at the vanguard of the rising number of ‘maternal breadwinners’ (working single mothers, and working mothers who earn as much as or more than their partner).
  • The increasing number of older women in work, combined with an ageing population, means that serious ‘care gaps’ are emerging in the UK – particularly in childcare.