You are here:

House of Commons Library

Unemployment - National: Key Economic Indicators

Published Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Unemployment - national: data on International Labour Organisation unemployment, the headline measure of unemployment in the UK.

Jump to full report >>

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) definition of unemployment is the headline measure of unemployment in the UK. Another measure is the claimant count – the number of people claiming unemployment benefits (namely, Jobseeker’s Allowance or people claiming Universal Credit who are required to seek work).

1.42 million people in the UK were unemployed on the ILO definition between January -March 2018, down 46,000 on the previous quarter but down 116,000 on the previous year.

The unemployment rate was 4.2% (the percentage of the economically active population who are unemployed), down 0.2% points on the previous quarter and down 0.4% points from the previous year.

Unemployment has been falling over the past few years and the unemployment rate is currently at its joint lowest point since 1975.



There were 756,000 men unemployed between January - March 2018, down 26,000 on the previous quarter and down 96,000 from a year earlier. 669,000 women were unemployed, down slightly on the previous quarter and on a year earlier.


531,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed, down 31,000 from a year ago. The unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds was 12.1%, down from 12.5% a year ago.

Commons Briefing papers SN02797

Author: Jennifer Brown

Topic: Unemployment

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.