Unemployment across the UK since 2005

The UK experienced a long period of falling unemployment rates after the end of the early 1990s recession where it stood at 10.7 per cent at the start of 1993. The unemployment rate levelled off from around 2001 and reached a low in the UK of 4.7 per cent at the beginning of 2005. This was followed by a small rise and then a sharper increase during the 2008-2009 recession.

Looking at the overall period from Jan-Mar 2005 to the latest quarter Mar-May 2011, the increase (difference between peaks and lows) in unemployment rates varied across regions:
  • The increase was largest in West Midlands (6.1 percentage points) and Yorkshire and The Humber (5.3 percentage points)
  • The increase was lowest in the South East (2.7 percentage points), East of England (3.0 percentage points), London (3.2 percentage points) and the South West (3.5 percentage points)

Between 2005 and the latest quarter (Mar-May 2011), the three regions with the highest peaks in unemployment rates were:

  • West Midlands, where unemployment peaked at 10.6 per cent in Apr-Jun 2009
  • North East, where unemployment peaked at 10.4 per cent in Jan-Mar 2011
  • Yorkshire and The Humber, where unemployment peaked at 9.7 per cent in Jan-Mar 2010

Data from the most recent quarter (Mar-May 2011) show the highest unemployment rate for North East, at 9.8 per cent, and lowest unemployment rate for South East, at 5.7 per cent.

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