The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2021 show that the number of employed persons remained almost unchanged at 15,0 million (a slight decrease of 28 000) in the first of quarter 2021. The number of unemployed persons also remained almost unchanged at 7,2 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2020 (increased by 8 000). The number of discouraged work-seekers increased by 201 000 (6,9%), and the number of people who were not economically active for reasons other than discouragement decreased by 38 000 (0,3%) between the two quarters, resulting in a net increase of 164 000 in the not economically active population.
These minor changes resulted in the official unemployment rate increasing by 0,1 of a percentage point from 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 32,6% in the first quarter of 2021 - the highest since the start of the QLFS in 2008. The unemployment rate according to the expanded definition of unemployment increased by 0,6 of a percentage point to 43,2% in quarter 1 2021 compared to quarter 4 2020.