In the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of unemployed people as defined by the International Labor Office (ILO) increased by 29,000 from the previous quarter, reaching a total of 2.3 million people. This represents a slight increase in the unemployment rate, which is now at 0.4 points above its lowest level since 1982. Despite this, it remains significantly lower than its peak in mid-2015 by three more points.
When looking at age groups, there were slight changes in the unemployment rate. For those aged 15-24, there was a decrease of 0.2 points, while for those aged 25-49, there was an increase of 0.2 points. The rate for those aged 50 or over remained almost stable.
The long-term unemployment rate also saw a slight increase in the fourth quarter of 2023, with an average of 571,000 people declaring themselves to be unemployed and looking for one for at least a year. This represents an increase of 33,000 from the previous quarter.
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