It seems I haven't posted this set of graphs for a while. Here are the overall 'wanting work' statistics:
The ratio of people wanting work to vacancies is now back to its pre-crash levels. And this means we're running up against the matching problem which is the essence of unemployment.
The UK participation rate. This is the ratio of those 'in the labour force' (ie unemployed and employed) to the household population. It differs from the ONS's 'employment rate' in that it doesn't exclude those over 65 (although over 65s who want a job are still classed as 'retired').
One of the features of the UK economy is that there is very little change in the participation rate (note the scale!). It's always about 63%. This is the case even if you use an extended participation rate including those who are 'inactive - want a job' (which raises the rate to about 68%).
Source: Office of National Statistics, tables MGSC (ILO Unemployment Level Ages 16-64 - Quarterly seasonally adjusted), LFM2 (Inactive - wants a job - Quarterly seasonally adjusted), YCCX (Part time workers - reason for working part time, could not find full time job - Quarterly seasonally adjusted), AP2Y (All vacancies - Quarterly seasonally adjusted), MGSL (LFS Household Population - all aged 16 and over - Quarterly seasonally adjusted) and MGRZ (Employment Level - all aged 16 and over - Quarterly seasonally adjusted).