This paper provides figures for the number of people claiming unemployment benefits (the “claimant count”) by parliamentary constituency, as well as a summary of the latest labour market statistics for the UK as a whole.

Download the full report

Supporting documents

Official sources have only just to begun to reflect the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. For more timely data on the emerging effect of coronavirus on the labour market, see Library briefing Coronavirus: Impact on the labour market.

This paper provides figures for the number of people claiming unemployment related benefits by parliamentary constituency, as well as a summary of the latest labour market statistics for the UK as a whole.

Employment and unemployment rates for March to May have not been dramatically changed by the coronavirus outbreak. However, the number of employees on payrolls, hours worked, vacancies and wage growth have seen a large decrease, and the claimant count has increased sharply since lockdown began, though it fell between May and June. There are also signs of economic inactivity rising and employment rates slowing.

Library briefing paper Coronavirus: Impact on the labour market  explains why the claimant count has risen so sharply while the unemployment rate remains largely unchanged.

Key figures

  • In March-May 2020, the number of people in employment was 95 million, 126,000 fewer than the previous quarter. The employment rate was 76.4%,0.2 percentage points down on the previous quarter.
  • The UK unemployment rate was 3.9%, up slightly from 3.8% the previous year, and unchanged since last quarter.
  • 46 million people aged 16-64 were economically inactive, 92,000 more than the previous quarter. The inactivity rate was 20.4%, 0.2 percentage points higher than the previous quarter.
  • The total number of weekly hours worked in the three months to May 2020 was 1 million, a decrease of 175.3 million (16.7%) hours on the previous year, the largest decrease since records began in 1992.
  • In the three months to June, job vacancies fell by 463,000 from the previous quarter to 333,000, the largest quarterly decrease to the vacancies total since the current time series started in 2001.
  • Early indicators for June 2020 suggest that the number of employees in the UK on payrolls is down around 650,000 compared with March 2020.
  • Average wages fell in real terms in the three months to May 2020, with an annual change of -1.3% including bonuses and -0.2% excluding bonuses.
  • The claimant count fell between May and June 2020 to 6 million; a decrease of 35,900 since May 2020 but an increase of 1.36 million since March 2020 when the lockdown began.

Download the full report

Supporting documents