October Labour Market Statistics: Comment from the Institute for Employment Studies

IES News

11 Oct 2022

Commenting on the figures, IES Director Tony Wilson said:

"The last time unemployment was this low was Christmas 1973 and Slade had just reached Number 1. But despite this record low unemployment, there are still more than a million unfilled jobs and over half a million more people out of work than before the pandemic began. This is being driven in particular by an alarming growth in economic inactivity due to long-term ill health, which is up by 170 thousand in the last three months alone and has reached its highest figure in at least three decades (2.49 million).

“The Chancellor now has three months to come up with a plan to address this. Virtually none of those who have left the labour market are on unemployment benefits and most aren’t even on benefit at all.  So the focus needs to be on how we can do much more to help people back into work instead of threatening to cut their benefits. A good place to start would be by extending access to the Restart Scheme, where government now expects to spend £1.2 billion less than it forecast a year ago. This investment will likely more than pay for itself in the longer run and not using it would be a complete false economy, reducing access to services for people out of work in order to fund tax cuts for those better off in work.”

Read the detailed IES Labour Market Statistics briefing note here.