Responses on the latest ONS figures on 19 July 2022

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics released on 19 July 2022, with comments from experts

ONS 19 July 2022

Responding to the latest ONS figures, Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of Learning and Work Institute, said:

On the cost of living rises:

“The cost of living crisis is laid bare today as real regular pay saw its biggest quarterly fall on record dating back to the start of the century, seeing a drop of 2.8% from March to May 2022. With energy bills set to rocket further in the autumn, this must be top of the new Prime Minister’s in-tray. But the crisis is being felt unevenly with larger pay rises in sectors like finance, up 6.2%, while the public sector saw the lowest pay rises, at 1.9% – much lower than inflation. With public sector pay bodies set to report shortly, this highlights the need for action to tackle recruitment and retention challenges in our public services.”

On the recruitment crunch:

“The UK has seen the biggest drop in its employment rate of the major G7 economies, driven by an exodus of over 50s from the workforce. Despite a welcome fall in economic inactivity of 144,000 in the last quarter, it’s still up 360,000 since the start of the pandemic. There are now twice as many people economically inactive due to sickness as there are unemployed people. This helps explain why, despite employment still being down, employers are struggling to find enough staff.

Our recent report showed other countries recovering quicker than the UK. The Government should review and reinvest the £2 billion underspend from its Plan for Jobs into a new plan to re-engage the thousands of people who left the workforce through the pandemic.”

On workless young people:

“Every young person deserves the chance to make the most of their talents, so supporting the hundreds of thousands of young people locked out of the jobs market must be a social justice priority. It’s also an economic imperative, given employers are hiring at record levels but still struggling to fill all their roles. Today’s figures show that, despite recent recovery, there are still 624,000 16-24 year olds who are not in full-time education but are economically inactive. With record vacancies, we need to tackle the issues uncovered by today’s research to boost growth, improve our public finances, and help every young person reach their full potential.

We continue to call on the Government to work with partners to urgently roll-out a ‘Youth Guarantee’ to support all young people to access a job, apprenticeship, or a high quality training opportunity.”

DWP Minister, Julie Marson MP said:

“It’s fantastic news that today we’ve got 2 million more women in work than in 2010 and the latest OECD data shows we have the second highest level of women in work in the G7.

“As we grow the economy, it’s vital we make sure everyone can find a job that’s right for them – and importantly that they can progress in work.

“That’s why we’re keeping up our support to get people at any age or career stage into work, including a new multi-million pound offer to help the over 50s get into, and remain in employment.”

Further information: 

ERSA Responds to government package of support for older workers

ERSA responds to labour market statistics for October to December 2017


The ONS labour market statistics for October to December 2017 published today show unemployment up by 46,000 on the quarter and the rate rising to 4.4%. The statistics also show that the employment level has increased by 88,000 more than the previous quarter, with 32.15 million people in work in total. There was concerning news that the unemployment rate for 16-24-year-olds has risen to 12.5% (547,000), an increase of 30,000 since the last quarter. Long-term unemployment has also risen by 23,000.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA’s Chief Executive, said:

“The unexpected rise in unemployment by 46,000 over the last three months of 2017 is a cause for concern, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.4%.

Worryingly, youth unemployment has also continued to rise and is now at 12.5%, providing further evidence that the government needs a stronger and more coherent approach to supporting young people into work. Today’s figures demonstrate that far too many young people lack access to specialist employment support and addressing the youth employment gap must be a top government priority. It is clear the government must do more if it is to build an inclusive labour market for the future.’

ERSA responds to latest labour market stats

ERSA welcomes the latest set of labour market statistics for September to November 2017, which show unemployment down by over 3000 on the quarter and with the rate falling to 4.3% – the lowest since 1975. The statistics also show that the employment level has increased by 102,000 more than the previous quarter, with 32.21 million people in work in total. There was concerning news that the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds has risen to 12.2% (538,000), an increase of 14,000 since the last quarter.

Sam Windett, ERSA’s Head of Policy and Communications, said:

“ERSA welcomes the latest ONS stats published today, with the unemployment rate falling to 4.3%. These figures are due to the hard work of jobseekers, employers and frontline employment support providers who help people into work every day.”

“However, despite this good news, youth unemployment has risen and a youth employment gap remains. The government must do more to help young people, who lack a coherent UK-wide offer of specialist support to enter the workplace. This must be addressed as a priority if we are to build a productive and inclusive labour market for the future.”

ERSA responds to latest Labour Market Statistics March-May 2017

ERSA welcomes the latest set of labour market statistics for March to May 2017, which show unemployment down by over 152,000 on the year and with the rate falling to 4.5% – the lowest since 1975. 
Commenting on the figures, ERSA’s Head of Policy and Communications, Sam Windett, said:
“Today’s labour market statistics are in no small part a testament to the scale and efforts of the organisations who are providing employment support at the front line every day. Advisers are working hard to help change lives, communities and grow businesses. This Friday’s Employability Day provides a perfect opporutnity to see this first hand and celebrate the great work that takes place in the employment support sector across the UK.”

ERSA welcomes the latest Labour Market Statistics

ERSA welcomes the latest Labour Market Statistics published today which show the employment rate at a record high of 74.5%, up 0.7% on the year, and the unemployment rate at 4.8%, the lowest for over a decade. With 49,000 more people in work in the past quarter and 461,000 on the year, there are now more people in employment than ever before (31.8 million).

Sam Windett, ERSA’s Head of Policy and Communications, said:

“These government statistics continue to show the positive contribution made by employment support providers on the UK labour force, working at the frontline to help jobseekers into sustainable employment. However, the government now faces increasing uncertainty in the labour market as well as existing challenges to close the productivity and disability employment gaps. Ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement, the government must prioritise the specialist employment support which will be crucial over the coming years.

“Of most concern is the planned 80% decrease in Government expenditure for procured employment support programmmes from next year, highlighted by ERSA’s recent report commissioned from WPI Economics. This needs a rapid rethink by the new Chancellor if we are to meet the challenges on the horizon – and next week’s Autumn Statement provides an opportunity to put this right.”