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UK Claimant Count Change

Understanding the Claimant Count Change, GBPUSD Falls After Mixed UK Labor Market Data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently released a statistical bulletin titled “Labour market overview, UK: September 2023,” providing valuable insights into the state of the UK labor market. One significant measure discussed in the report is the Claimant Count Change, which serves as a crucial indicator of unemployment-related benefits.

Employment Data (May-July 2023)Percentage/Number
Employment Rate75.5% (-0.5pp from Feb-Apr 2023)
Payrolled Employees (Estimate for August 2023)30.1 million (-1,000 from July)
Unemployment Rate4.3% (+0.5pp on the quarter)
Economic Inactivity Rate21.1% (+0.1pp on the quarter)
Vacancies989,000 (-64,000 from June-Aug)
Annual Growth in Regular Pay (excluding bonuses)7.8%
Annual Growth in Average Total Pay (including bonuses)8.5%
Real Terms Annual Growth – Total Pay+1.2%
Real Terms Annual Growth – Regular Pay+0.6%

(Source: ONS Labour Market Overview, September 2023)

Decrease in Claimant Count Change Reflects Stability in the Job Market

According to the latest report, the UK experienced a decrease in the number of individuals claiming unemployment-related benefits. The estimate of payrolled employees for August 2023 remained largely unchanged compared to July 2023, with a decrease of 1,000. Although this figure may seem relatively small, it highlights the stability and resilience of the job market during this period.

Unemployment Rate Increases, Driven by Long-Term Unemployed Individuals

Furthermore, the report reveals that the unemployment rate for May to July 2023 increased by 0.5 percentage points to 4.3%. This rise can be attributed to various factors, primarily driven by people who have been unemployed for up to 12 months.

Decrease in Employment Rate Driven by Full-Time Self-Employed Workers

On the other side of the spectrum, the report indicates a decrease in the UK employment rate, estimated at 75.5% in May to July 2023. While this figure represents a decline of 0.5 percentage points compared to the previous quarter, it is essential to note that this decrease was predominantly driven by full-time self-employed workers.

Increase in Economic Inactivity among Younger Individuals

Moreover, the report highlights the increase in economic inactivity, particularly among individuals aged 16 to 24 years. The economic inactivity rate rose by 0.1 percentage points to reach 21.1% in May to July 2023. This finding underscores the challenges faced by young people in entering and remaining in the labor market.

Vacancies Show a Slight Decrease, Monitoring Future Employment Patterns

Regarding vacancies, the report reveals a decrease of 64,000 on the quarter to 989,000 in June to August 2023. While this decline may indicate a slightly reduced demand for new hires during this period, it is essential to monitor this trend closely as it can provide insights into future employment patterns.

Positive Growth in Pay Indicates Encouraging Progress

In terms of pay, the report indicates positive growth in both regular pay (excluding bonuses) and employees’ average total pay (including bonuses). Annual growth in regular pay reached an impressive 7.8% in May to July 2023, the highest rate since comparable records began in 2001. Additionally, annual growth in employees’ average total pay stood at 8.5%. These figures demonstrate encouraging progress in remuneration levels across the workforce.

Impact of Labor Disputes on the UK Labor Market

Lastly, the report highlights the impact of labor disputes on the UK labor market. In July 2023, there were 281,000 working days lost due to strikes, primarily concentrated in the Education and Health and Social work sectors. Understanding the implications of labor strikes is crucial for policymakers and stakeholders to ensure a stable and harmonious labor environment.

It is essential to approach these statistics with caution, as estimates for smaller groups may have higher sampling variability. Additionally, the presented figures are subject to uncertainty, and the bulletin provides comprehensive information on the strengths and limitations of the data.

For further insights into the UK labor market, the ONS website offers additional articles such as “Sickness absence in the UK labour market: 2022” and “Returning to the workplace – the motivations and barriers for people aged 50 years and over, Great Britain: August 2022.” These resources delve deeper into specific aspects of the labor market landscape, providing a holistic understanding of its complexities.

The Claimant Count Change serves as a vital measure of unemployment-related benefits, offering valuable insights into the dynamics of the UK labor market. The latest data from the ONS reveals a mix of challenges and positive developments, highlighting the need for ongoing monitoring and targeted interventions to foster a resilient and inclusive labor market for all.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Market Reaction GBPUSD Sinks Below 1.2500 After Disappointing K Employment Data


According to market reports, the Pound Sterling (GBP) has fallen below the 1.2500 mark against the US Dollar (USD) following disappointing UK employment data. This decline in the value of the Pound can be attributed to concerns over the state of the job market in the UK.

US Dollar Gains Strength Amidst Cautious Market

Simultaneously, the US Dollar (USD) has experienced a boost in strength amidst cautious market sentiment. Investors may be seeking safer assets, such as the US Dollar, due to uncertainties surrounding the UK employment data and its potential impact on the economy. Meanwhile the US Dollar Index remains strong, supported by prospects of Fed policy tightening.


  • Phyllis Wangui

    Phyllis Wangui is a Financial Analyst and News Editor with qualifications in accounting and economics. She has over 20 years of banking and accounting experience, during which she has gained extensive knowledge of the forex, stock news, stock market, forex analysis, cryptos and foreign exchange industries. Phyllis is an avid commentator on these topics and loves to share her insights with others through financial publications and social media platforms.

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