Stand Together Network


Recent challenging economic conditions means that more and more people have found themselves affected by unemployment and redundancy. 

What is the meaning of unemployment? 

unemployment, the condition of one who is capable of working, actively seeking work, but unable to find any work. It is important to note that to be considered unemployed a person must be an active member of the labour force and in search of remunerative work.

Unemployment is an economic indicator that refers to the proportion of people in an economy who are willing and able to work but are unable to find a job. A person in this situation is said to be unemployed. 

What is current UK unemployment rate? 

The UK unemployment rate was 4.3%, and 1.46 million people aged 16+ were unemployed. Unemployment levels rose in the last quarter and the last year and were 89,000 above pre-pandemic levels. 8.78 million people aged 16-64 were economically inactive, and the inactivity rate was 21.1%

Unemployment was predicted to grow further after the end of the furlough scheme in the second half of 2021, albeit with the economy rebounded, unemployment levels have been less than previously predicted.

Unemployment in the three months to March 2022 had droped back down to 3.7%. This was the lowest rate recorded since 1974.  There were officially fewer people out of work than there were job openings for the first time on record.

In the spring of 2022, UK unemployment at 3.7% was below that of Germany (5.1%) and France (8.1%).

What does it mean to be unemployed in the UK? 

The UK applies this as anybody who is not in employment by the above definition, has actively sought work in the last 4 weeks and is available to start work in the next 2 weeks, or has found a job and is waiting to start in the next 2 weeks, is considered to be unemployed. 

Has unemployment in the UK increased? 

In the latest quarter, the number of people unemployed for up to 6 months increased, with the largest quarterly increase since August to October 2022. Those unemployed for between 6 and 12 months and for over 12 months also increased.

What causes unemployment?

During an economic downturn, a shortfall of demand for goods and services results in a lack of jobs being available for those who want to work. Businesses experiencing weaker demand might reduce the amount of people they employ by laying off existing workers, or hiring fewer new workers. 

Why is unemployment so high in the UK? 

High unemployment rates are typical of a struggling economy, where labour supply outstrips demand from employers. When an economy has high levels of unemployment, it is not using its economic resources efficiently. 

What age group is most unemployed UK? 

aged 16 to 24 

Approximately 12.3 percent of people aged 16 to 24 were unemployed in the United Kingdom in June 2023, the highest of any age group. 

According to data recently published by the Office for National Statistics, it is predicted that youth unemployment will rise by 600,00 this year.

What is the biggest disadvantage of unemployment?

Poverty: Unemployment is the basic cause of poverty, even people don’t have money to support their families, Inability of educated people who are not getting employment implies a great social waste. Increase independent population: Unemployment leads to an increase in the economic burden. 

What is the biggest cause of unemployment in the UK? 

  • cyclical unemployment 
  • The most common form of unemployment that affects the UK is cyclical unemployment. This occurs when there is an economic downturn such as a recession. As there is reduced demand for goods and services, firms do not require as many workers to fulfil customer demands and so people are laid off. 

People who are not willing or able to work are ‘economically inactive’ and do not count towards unemployment figures. In other words, a country’s ‘unemployment rate’ is expressed as a percentage of the country’s labour force, not of its entire population. 

High unemployment rates are typical of a struggling economy, where labour supply outstrips demand from employers. When an economy has high levels of unemployment, it is not using its economic resources efficiently.

Unemployment also carries significant social costs for wider society. These are first and foremost manifested in financial hardship. However they also lead to feelings of under stimulation and rejection. In this way unemployment is said to lead to damaging social and psychological consequences among those affected. Studies have repeatedly linked unemployment to rising crime, suicide rates, and the deterioration of mental and physical health. 

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