The unemployment rate as defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) increased by 29,000 in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous one, reaching 2.3 million people. This is an increase of 0.4 points from the lowest level since 1982, which was recorded at the end of 2022. Despite this, it remains significantly below its peak in mid-2015 by three more points.
The unemployment rate decreased slightly for 15-24 year-olds and increased for those aged 50 or over. The rate remained almost stable for 25-49 year-olds and barely decreased for women while increasing slightly for men. Additionally, long-term unemployment rates also increased slightly with an average of 571,000 people declaring to be unemployed and looking for one or more years, marking an increase of 33,000 from the previous quarter.
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Overall, despite slight increases in both short-term and long-term unemployment rates, it is important to recognize that they remain lower than their peak levels and have been steadily decreasing over time.
In conclusion, while there are some positive signs regarding employment trends in recent quarters, there is still work to be done to address persistent issues such as long-term unemployment rates which continue to rise slightly.