Employment rose by 236,000 in the three months to July and, at 29.56m, is within a whisker of its pre-recession peak of 29.57m. The corresponding fall in unemployment over the period, 7,000, is disappointing, though there was a bigger 181,000 fall in economic inactivity during the quarter. The claimant count dropped by 15,000 to 1.57m between July and August.
The Office for National Statistics has usefully contrasted the pre-recession employment peak, in March-May 2008, with the current position. As it notes, since then there has been a 640,000 fall in full-time employment, a 628,000 rise in part-time employment, a 978,000 rise in employment, a 60,000 drop in economic inactivity (16-64) and a 1.524m increase in the 16-plus population. So some way yet to go.
More here. Other highlights:
* The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 71.2%, up 0.5 on the quarter. There were 29.56 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 236,000 on the quarter.
* The unemployment rate was 8.1% of the economically active population, down 0.1 on the quarter. There were 2.59 million unemployed people, down 7,000 on the quarter.
* The inactivity rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 22.4%, down 0.5 on the quarter. There were 9.01 million economically inactive people aged from 16 to 64, down 181,000 on the quarter.
• Total pay (including bonuses) rose by 1.5% on a year earlier, down 0.3 on the three months to June 2012. Regular pay (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.9% on a year earlier, up 0.1 on the three months to June.