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Unemployment rate in the UK 1971-2020 by gender

In the three months leading up to October 2020 the unemployment rate for males in the United Kingdom was 5.3 percent, while for women it was 4.6 percent. During the provided time period, the unemployment rate for males peaked in January 1993 at 12.7 percent, while for women the unemployment rate was at it's highest in April and May 1984 when it was 11.8 percent.

Unemployment and age

The unemployment rate for people in the United Kingdom is heavily associated with age. For people aged between 16 and 24 years of age for example, the unemployment rate was 11.6 percent in 2018, compared with just 1.4 percent for over 65s. As with the overall unemployment rate, in the three months leading up to October 2020 young men had a higher unemployment rate than women at 16.6 percent and 12.3 percent respectively.

Northern England worst for unemployment

While the unemployment rate for the entire UK was around four percent in late 2018, the two regions with the worst unemployment rate were the North East of England at 6.6 percent and London at 6.3 percent. Scotland and several areas of southern England had unemployment rates below the national average, with the South East of England having the lowest at 3.9 percent.

Unemployment rate in the United Kingdom from March 1971 to October 2020, by gender

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Release date

December 2020


United Kingdom

Survey time period

March 1971 to October 2020

Supplementary notes

Unemployment rates taken from the following time series provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

MGSY: Males
MGSZ: Females

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Statistics on "Unemployment in the UK"

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