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UK unemployment stops improving in opening four months of 2015

The Adzuna Unemployment Predictor calculates that the proportion of unemployed people in the UK will stand at just 5.58% in April. This is only a small monthly reduction (-0.01%) from Adzuna’s forecast for March (5.59%) and is just 0.02% lower than the most recent unemployment figure from the ONS – which reported a rate of 5.60% in January – suggesting the unemployed workforce aren’t able to access many of the available jobs currently being advertised.

The forecast draws on two unique data sources representing both sides of the supply-demand equation: realtime, comprehensive coverage of over 1m UK-wide job vacancies combined with timely job demand data based on millions of user visits to the Adzuna website.

Looking ahead, the Unemployment Predictor also suggests that unemployment will fall to just 5.04% as a proportion of the total UK workforce by July, with the speed at which unemployment is falling on a monthly basis nearly doubling from the start of the year.

Table 1:

Latest ONS forecast


Adzuna current forecast


Adzuna 3-month forecast


Unemployment  Rate




Month-on-month Change




Year-on-year Change




Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented, “Despite making great strides forward last year, unemployment has been relatively immobile in the first four months of 2015. The election is fast approaching, and employer actions are undoubtedly impacted by political uncertainty.  For one, the question of an EU referendum is hanging in the air – a decision which would have an enormous impact on the makeup of the UK workforce.

“The number of job vacancies on offer is increasing, but unemployment hasn’t followed suit, which could indicate a lack of appropriate training in the domestic workforce. A hiring spree may not translate into reduced unemployment, especially when we’ve just emerged from a long and painful recession. Now the economy is moving again, many employees trapped in career gridlock are starting to feel confident enough to make career changes – increasing the number of vacancies without necessarily reducing the proportion of long-term unemployed.

“A potential increase to the minimum wage also affects the hiring patterns of employers. In short, there are good reasons why employers have been playing their cards close to their chests while they wait for the dust to settle.”

Unemployment falls in real terms

In real terms, the Unemployment Predictor calculates that over 182,000 people will have been lifted out of unemployment across the first half of 2015.

Number of employed people in the UK


(Most recent ONS figure)


(Current prediction)


(3-month prediction)




Hunter explained, “It isn’t just proportions that are shrinking – these figures represent a genuine, real-terms reduction of the number of people in the UK unable to find work. On the cusp of one of the most divisive elections in recent memory, we can only hope the winning party can translate these figures into a tangible reality.”

Hiring Snapshot: top five UK recruiters

The institutions with the most job listings on in April  included the NHS2 with just over 12,000 job listings on the search engine– over five times as many as Tesco (2,241 listings) and over seven times as many as McDonalds (1,570).

Hunter concluded, “The NHS is far more of a national institution than many people realise. It’s a dominant UK employer. But such a significant hiring spree could signal a gap in the skills of UK employees, with a shortage of qualified doctors and nurses. It’s never just about the employers: if people in the UK don’t have the right skills, they simply can’t take up these positions. To really reduce unemployment, the new government will need to focus on upskilling our workforce.”

Table 2:


Number of jobs listed













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