In the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of unemployed people as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO) increased by 29,000 compared to the previous quarter, reaching a total of 2.3 million people. Despite this, the unemployment rate is still significantly lower than its peak in mid-2015 by three more points. However, it remains higher than its lowest level since 1982 by 0.4 points.
The unemployment rate for different age groups varied in the fourth quarter of 2023. The rate for those aged 15-24 decreased by 0.2 points, while that for those aged 50 or over remained almost stable. On the other hand, the rate for both men and women increased slightly.
Long-term unemployment also increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2023, with an average of 571,000 people declaring to be unemployed and looking for one for at least a year. This represents an increase of 33,000 from the previous quarter’s long-term unemployment rate.
Despite this slight increase in long-term unemployment, it remains significantly lower than its level at the end of 2019 and is increasing very slowly over time.
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Overall, while there has been some slight fluctuations in unemployment rates across different age groups and time periods in recent years, overall trends have shown significant improvement compared to historical highs. It is important for policymakers and businesses alike to continue working towards addressing any persistent issues related to job creation and economic growth that may impact future employment levels.