The unemployment rate in the UK edged up to 4.8% in the three months to May of 2021, compared to market forecasts of 4.7 percent. The employment rate fell to 74.8 percent from 75.2 percent and the labor force participation rate also declined to 78.7 percent from 79 percent. With the relaxation of many coronavirus restrictions, total hours worked increased on the quarter, however it is still below pre-pandemic levels. The number of employees on British company payrolls surged by 356,000, the biggest increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The redundancy rate decreased on the quarter and has returned to pre-pandemic levels. There were 862,000 job vacancies in April to June 2021 - 77,500 above its pre-pandemic level in January to March 2020. All but one industry saw quarterly increases in their number of vacancies. Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was at a record 7.3 percent and excluding bonuses was 6.6 percent among employees for March to May 2021. source: Office for National Statistics

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom averaged 6.84 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 July of 2021.

Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom is expected to be 4.80 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 4.70 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United Kingdom Unemployment Rate is projected to trend around 4.60 percent in 2022 and 4.40 percent in 2023, according to our econometric models.

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United Kingdom Unemployment Rate

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
4.80 4.70 11.90 3.40 1971 - 2021 percent Monthly


Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2021-04-20 06:00 AM Feb 4.9% 5% 5.1% 5.1%
2021-05-18 06:00 AM Mar 4.8% 4.9% 4.9% 5%
2021-06-15 06:00 AM Apr 4.7% 4.8% 4.7% 4.7%
2021-07-15 06:00 AM May 4.8% 4.7% 4.7% 4.7%
2021-08-17 06:00 AM Jun 4.8% 4.4%
2021-09-14 06:00 AM Jul
2021-10-12 06:00 AM Aug
2021-11-16 07:00 AM Sep


News Stream
UK Jobless Rate Inches Up to 4.8%
The unemployment rate in the UK edged up to 4.8% in the three months to May of 2021, compared to market forecasts of 4.7 percent. The employment rate fell to 74.8 percent from 75.2 percent and the labor force participation rate also declined to 78.7 percent from 79 percent. With the relaxation of many coronavirus restrictions, total hours worked increased on the quarter, however it is still below pre-pandemic levels. The number of employees on British company payrolls surged by 356,000, the biggest increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The redundancy rate decreased on the quarter and has returned to pre-pandemic levels. There were 862,000 job vacancies in April to June 2021 - 77,500 above its pre-pandemic level in January to March 2020. All but one industry saw quarterly increases in their number of vacancies. Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was at a record 7.3 percent and excluding bonuses was 6.6 percent among employees for March to May 2021.
2021-07-15
UK Jobless Rate Drops to 4.7%
The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in the three months to April 2021, the lowest rate since the June-August 2020 period and in line with market expectations. The labor market continued to show signs of recovery, supported by the relaxation of many coronavirus restrictions, the rapid pace of vaccination, and the government's furlough scheme, which will run until the end of September. The number of unemployed people was down by 90,000 to 1.61 million, while employment levels rose by 113,000 to 32.49 million, less than market consensus of a 150,000 increase. The report also showed the number of employees on company books surged 197,000 in May from April, the largest increase on record, as companies stepped up hiring as restrictive measures eased further. Job vacancies and redundancies have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
2021-06-15
UK Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Falls
The unemployment rate in the UK unexpectedly edged down to 4.8% in the three months to March of 2021, lower than market forecasts of 4.9% as wage support for furloughed workers remains in place. The jobless rate was also 0.3 percentage points lower than in three months to December, the largest quarterly decrease since September to November 2015. The country was under a strict coronavirus lockdown in the January-March period but started lifting some restrictions in March. Meanwhile, employment surged 84,000, the first gain since the pandemic, the number of people on payrolls rose 97,000, and vacancies increased 13%. Also, the employment rate was estimated at 75.2%, 1.4 percentage points lower than before the pandemic but 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous quarter. The economic inactivity rate was 21%, 0.8 percentage points higher than December 2019 to February 2020 and 0.1 percentage point higher than the previous quarter.
2021-05-18
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

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.