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1.3 Labour market


Estimated employment rates for men and women aged between 16 and 64 years have been generally increasing since early 2012. The increase in the employment rate for women in recent years is partly a result of changes to the State Pension age for women, resulting in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65 years.

The employment rate is generally higher for those who state their ethnicity as white compared with other groups. The trends for those with a disability mirror those seen for the total population. Since 2015, the unemployment rate has generally decreased across all G7 countries shown. 

Smaller firms have a greater number of hard to fill vacancies. 

The average number of days lost by sickness per worker has declined in recent years.

Indicator 1.3.1 - Employment and unemployment rates

Metrics 1.3.1a to 1.3.1d show the unemployment and employment rates for those aged 16-64 (excluding 1.3.1b where the rates are applicable to those aged 16+). The headline rates are seasonally adjusted and available on a 3-month rolling average. Data for ethnicity and disability group are not seasonally adjusted and are available quarterly. Data are from the Labour Force Survey.

Metric 1.3.1a — Employment and unemployment rates, UK by gender, Jan-Mar 2000 - Oct-Dec 2019 (%)

Source: ONS

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Indicator 1.3.2 - Unemployment rate

The chart shows the percentage of the active population unemployed according to the International Labour Organisation definition of unemployment. Data are available for 6 of the G7 countries.

Indicator 1.3.3 - Hard to fill vacancies

The x-axis indicates the proportion of vacancies that are hard-to-fill. The y-axis indicates the proportion of firms with each vacancy situation. Data are from the 2017 Employer Skills Survey which collects information from over 87,000 employer establishments across the UK on skill needs, use and development.

Metric 1.3.3a — Hard-to-fill vacancies as a percentage of current vacancies by firm size, UK, 2017 (%)

Source: DfE

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Indicator 1.3.4 – Sickness absences

Quarterly LFS datasets were used to generate annual averages. The average number of days lost to sickness per worker is calculated by dividing the total number of days lost to sickness by the total number of people aged 16 and over in employment. A day is defined as 7.5 hours.

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