South Yorkshire jobs: Unemployment rate rises as number of women searching for jobs soars

Unemployment in Yorkshire has increased over the first quarter of the year with 20,000 more people now unemployed than in November 2021.

Friday, 17th June 2022, 8:21 am

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS),the total number of people, aged between 16-64, in the unemployed category has risen to 122,000 during the three month period of February to April 2022.

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The unemployment rate has risen to 4.7 per cent, a 0.7 per cent increase on the previous quarter.

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Job Centre Plus.

The Star takes a look at the data to find out what it means.

For context

In the data by the ONS, people are split into three categories: employed, unemployed and economically inactive.

Employed people are both permanent and temporary employees paid a wage for the work they do and individuals who deem themselves self-employed.

Unemployed people are people either not in work, but have actively been seeking work in the last four weeks and can start in the next two, or are out of work, have a job and are waiting to start in the next two weeks.

People in the economically inactive category are those who do not fit into these categories for any reason. This could be because they do not want a job or because they are students or a stay at home parent. When applied to statistics for people aged between 16-64, this excludes people above the retirement age.

Economically active people are the sum of the employed and unemployed categories.

What do the statistics show us?

The big statistic being shown is the increase of 20,000 people, aged 16-64, currently unemployed - up to 122,000 people in Yorkshire.

There has also been a decrease of 37,000 people who are economically inactive.

This decrease is made up of 27,000 women looking to find work, or return to work, after the difficulties of the last few years.

Statistics during the pandemic showed women with families were more likely to become economically inactive and stay at home to care for children.

When separated into men and women, the statistics show the number of men in unemployment has decreased by 2,000, whilst it has increased for women, by 22,000.

As a result of all this, the unemployment rate in the region has risen to 4.7 per cent amongst people aged 16-64, whilst the economically inactive rate drops to 23.4 per cent.

Despite this massive increase in women seeking employment, the data suggests it hasn’t translated into job creation for these women just yet.

In the new data set, the number of men entering employment was more than double that of women, with 6,000 women finding permanent or temporary work.

What about employment?

As the county continues its post-pandemic recovery, increases in employment and the employment rate give cause for optimism.

For people aged between 16-64, 20,000 people have entered employment between February and April of this year, bringing the employment rate up to 73 per cent.

This is a 0.5 per cent increase on the previous quarter, but below the national average of 75.6 per cent.

According to statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions, people claiming unemployment benefits are reducing as well.

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, the number of people claiming benefits has reduced 34 per cent compared to this time last year, with a 32 per cent decreased in Sheffield alone.