Figures out today show the number of people in employment has increased to a new record high of 29.46 million. At the same time the numbers claiming Jobseekers Allowance continues to fall for the seventeenth consecutive month, remaining the lowest claimant count for 32 years.

The new figures, issued by the Office for National Statistics, show unemployment has fallen by 32,000 on the quarter with 89,000 fewer people unemployed compared to a year ago. The number of vacancies remains high at 678,500.
Stephen Timms, Minister for Employment said:
“Once again this is a strong set of figures. There have never been more people in work in the UK. Our employment rate of 74.8% continues to be above that of most other countries within the EU.
“Gone are the days when whole cities and towns were suffering high unemployment. Every region and country in the UK now benefits from higher employment and there are a million fewer people on key out of work benefits than ten years ago. We recognise, however, that there are still small areas where employment remains low and we are taking steps to address this by working with local partners in deprived communities to ensure people get the support they need to move off benefits and into work. Our welfare reforms are providing more people with greater opportunities to get in to work where they can support themselves and their families.”
Media Enquiries Caroline Calder 0203 267 5124
DWP Press Office 0203 267 5144
Out of hours 07659 108883
This month’s labour force survey covers November to January 2008. The claimant unemployment and vacancy count dates were 14th February and 8th February respectively.
Employment is at record levels
- 29.46 million people were in work in November to January, the highest figure on record
- Employment rose by 166 thousand on the quarter and 367 thousand on the year
- The employment rate is 74.8%, up 0.3 percentage points on the quarter, and up 0.4 percentage points on the year
The number of people on the key out of-of-work benefits is falling
- the claimant count was 793.5 thousand in February 2008, down 2.8 thousand on the month, and down 126.5 thousand on the year. It has now fallen for 17 consecutive months.
- In the year to May 2007, the number of people claiming the key out-of work benefits fell by over 100 thousand. The number of people claiming incapacity benefits fell by 45 thousand, to 2.64 million and the number receiving lone parent benefits fell 9 thousand to 765.6 thousand.
ILO unemployment remains historically low
- 1.61 million people were ILO unemployed in November to January, down by 32 thousand on the quarter and 89 thousand on the year
- The ILO unemployment rate is 5.2%, down 0.1 percentage points on the quarter, and 0.3 percentage points on the year.
Economic inactivity is improving
- the economic inactivity level is 7.89 million, down 68 thousand on the quarter, and down 2 thousand on the year.
- the economic inactivity rate is 21.0%, down 0.2 percentage points on the quarter, and down 0.1 percentage points on the year.
- excluding students, inactivity as a proportion of the working age population is down 0.3 percentage points over the last year, at 15.8%.
Vacancies remain very high and redundancies are very low
- ONS’s vacancy survey estimates an average of 678.5 thousand unfilled vacancies in the three months to February 2008, up 1.6 thousand on the quarter, and up 59.7 thousand on the year
- More than 10,000 vacancies are placed at Jobcentres every day and many more come up through other recruitment channels
- There were 110 thousand redundancies this quarter, down 23 thousand on the previous quarter and down 26 thousand on the previous year to the lowest level since comparable records began in 1995.
Earnings growth in the year to January was 3.7%, down 0.1 percentage points from December
- excluding bonuses, average earnings growth was 3.7%, unchanged from the December figure.
Key out-of-work benefits: May 1997- latest levels, in thousands[1]
Lone Parents on Income Support (IS) 3
Other (IS others and Pension Credit) [4],[5]
Total change
May 97 to
May 07
May 97
· Between May 1997 and May 2007, the number of people on the main out-of-work benefits fell by 1,052,600. Taking account of more up-to-date claimant count information the fall is 1,137,000, though this will need to be confirmed once data on the other benefit groups becomes available for the more recent period.

[1] This table includes the main out-of-work client group categories, with the exception of carers who are not subject to activation policies in the same way as other groups.
[2] UK figures (seasonally adjusted) published by ONS. This 100% series is the most reliable and up-to-date source for claimant unemployment.
[3] GB figures (not seasonally adjusted). Published by DWP back to 1999 as part of the 100% working age client group analysis. Earlier consistent figures have been created by combining information from the previously published 5% sample data with the WPLS data. A consistent series for the UK as a whole is not readily available.
[4] GB figures (not seasonally adjusted). Published by DWP back to 1999 as part of the 100% working age client group analysis. Before 1999 a 5% sample series is used, scaled to be consistent with the 100% data.
[5] Excludes around 86,000 claimants in receipt of income support and carers allowance. This group has been stable over time and does not affect the estimated decrease in benefit claimants.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 8 hours 24 minutes ago

1.6million households worried about payments over winter as mortgage holiday scheme closes; JRF warns that without…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page