The Office for National Statistics released their unemployment report for the quarter containing December 2023 to February 2024.


 The Unemployment rate has risen to 3.9% whereas last quarter it was at 3.5% leaving many people without a job and a source of income.

The amount of job vacancies and advertising is decreasing by 4.5%, as the number of vacancies in December 2023 to February 2024 was 908,000, a decrease of 43,000 from September to November 2023.

The industry with the most dramatic fall in vacancies was human health and social workers sectors.


People reporting, they left a job due to redundancy has increased by 2.5 per thousand employees.

Number of hours worked

The number of working hours has increased since lockdown measures were relaxed in the UK. However, they are still lower than pre-pandemic levels. From November 2023 to January 2024 there was an average of 1.06 billion hours works across the UK.

Pay levels

In 2024 UK employers should receive a pay rise of 4.4% which should boost the economy and boost morale within workplaces.

The average weekly earnings were estimated at £666 for total earnings and £623 for regular earnings in November 2023. This has been a steady increase over time.

They have also revealed that the monthly update on wage growth, the increase in average employee wages including bonuses was at 5.6% November 2023- January 2024. This shows wages are growing higher than the rate of inflation which is currently at 4%

Annual inflation is slowly falling meaning pay levels can ease.

Forbes reported that there are roughly 3 million workers on the National Living Wage of £10.42 which is set to rise in April 2024.

Why unemployment rates are rising

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) states that the high unemployment rates are due to employers cutting back on hiring new staff. They have stuck to internal staff cutting down the number of vacancies.

They argue that employers are waiting until the economy picks up before hiring new talent as they believe it would be difficult to recruit.

As well as this the cost-of-living crisis is making it difficult to afford to hire new staff.

The ONS have also found a high number of people reporting long term illness deeming them unable to work full time.