The UK unemployment rate fell for the second month in a row to 4.9 percent in the three months to February, a period when the country was under a tight COVID lockdown. The rate came in also below market consensus of 5.1 percent, supported by the government's furlough scheme, which was extended last month until the end of September. The number of unemployed people was down by 50,000 to 1.67 million, the first decrease since October to December 2019, while employment levels dropped by 73,000 to 32.43 million, less than the market consensus of a 150,000 decline. Meanwhile, employment was sharply down by 643,000 compared to the same period last year, the largest annual decrease since May to July 2009. Also, the number of employees on company payrolls fell by 56,000 between February and March, pushing up the total number of jobs lost since the coronavirus outbreak to 813,000. source: Office for National Statistics

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom averaged 6.85 percent from 1971 until 2021, reaching an all time high of 11.90 percent in April of 1984 and a record low of 3.40 percent in December of 1973. This page provides the latest reported value for - United Kingdom Unemployment Rate - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United Kingdom Unemployment Rate - data, historical chart, forecasts and calendar of releases - was last updated on May of 2021.

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom is expected to be 5.50 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom to stand at 6.40 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 6.10 percent in 2022 and 5.10 percent in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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United Kingdom Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
4.90 5.00 11.90 3.40 1971 - 2021 percent Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2021-01-26 07:00 AM Nov 5% 4.9% 5.1% 5.1%
2021-02-23 07:00 AM Dec 5.1% 5% 5.1% 5.2%
2021-03-23 07:00 AM Jan 5% 5.1% 5.2% 5.1%
2021-04-20 06:00 AM Feb 4.9% 5% 5.1% 5.1%
2021-05-18 06:00 AM Mar 4.9% 4.9% 5%
2021-06-15 06:00 AM Apr
2021-07-15 06:00 AM May
2021-08-17 06:00 AM Jun


News Stream
UK Jobless Rate Below Forecasts
The UK unemployment rate fell for a second month in a row to 4.9 percent in the three months to February, a period when the country was under a tight COVID lockdown. The rate came in also below market consensus of 5.1 percent, supported by the government's furlough scheme, which was extended last month until the end of September. The number of unemployed people was down by 50,000 to 1.67 million, the first decrease since October to December 2019, while employment levels dropped by 73,000 to 32.43 million, less than market consensus of a 150,000 decline. Meanwhile, employment was sharply down by 643,000 compared to the same period last year, the largest annual decrease since May to July 2009. Also, the number of employees on company payrolls fell by 56,000 between February and March, pushing up the total number of jobs lost since the coronavirus outbreak to 813,000.
2021-04-20
UK Jobless Rate Lower than Forecasts
The unemployment rate in the UK edged down to 5% in the three months to January, from 5.1% in the previous period and below market forecasts of 5.2%. Still, the jobless rate remains the highest in 5 years as the country was under a coronavirus lockdown in January and would have been even higher if not for the government Job Retention Scheme which is supporting about 4 million jobs, that is, one in five employees. The employment rate was unchanged at 75% and inactivity edged up to 21%, largely driven by students. There were an estimated 601,000 vacancies in the three months to February. Separate figures based on tax data show the number of employees on payrolls rose for a third consecutive month in February. The increase of 68,000 still left the total down by 693,000 from February last year. Growth in average earning including bonuses accelerated to 4.8%, the fastest since 2008.
2021-03-23
UK Jobless Rate Highest in Almost 5 Years
The unemployment rate in the UK increased to 5.1% in the three months to December of 2020 from 5% in the previous period and in line with forecasts. It remains the highest jobless rate since the three months to August 2016, as the country was under another national coronavirus lockdown in December. Still, unemployment has been held down by the government’s Job Retention Scheme which is supporting about 4 million jobs, that is, one in five employees. The employment rate continued to fall to 75% while the number of vacancies rose by 64K to 599K in the three months to January. The number of redundancies rose by 29K to 343K, the least since the second quarter. Meanwhile, average earnings growth accelerated more quickly than expected to 4.7%, the highest since 2008 driven in part by compositional effects of a fall in the number and proportion of lower-paid employee jobs, and by increased bonuses, which had been postponed earlier in the year.
2021-02-23
UK Jobless Rate Edges Up to 5%
The unemployment rate in the UK edged up to 5 percent in the three months to November of 2020 from 4.9 percent in the previous period and slightly below forecasts of 5.1 percent. It is the 5th consecutive month of rising unemployment to a new high since the three months to August 2016, as a number of coronavirus lockdown measures were reintroduced. The employment rate continued to fall to 72.5 percent, the number of redundancies reached a record high of 14.2 thousand and vacancies fell to 578 thousand. Also, the number of people away from work because of the pandemic and receiving no pay has risen slightly over the last month.
2021-01-26

United Kingdom Unemployment Rate
In the United Kingdom, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force.