Looking for work

This article looks at the definition of economic  of people who are economically inactive and provides tips on looking for work.

Economic inactivity

People who are not employed or self-employed are said to be economically inactive i.e. they have no employment status.

Economically inactive people may include:

  • Full-time parents
  • Those taking early retirement
  • Sick or incapacitated people
  • Students
  • Unemployed people
  • Unpaid carers
  • Volunteers
  • Prisoners

Tips on looking for work

There are many routes available to people looking for work after a period of economic inactivity. Here are some general tips on looking for work:

  • Establish a support network of family and friends
  • Update your CV
  • Get advice on CVs, careers, jobs and skills from organisations such as National Careers Service
  • Start networking
  • Use the government's Universal Jobmatch service
  • Register with online job vacancy search engines such as Indeed, Monster, fish4jobs and Jobsite
  • Check local and national newspapers for job vacancies
  • Identify growth industries and skills which are in demand in your area
  • Get into the habit of working by volunteering
  • Sign up for agency work
  • Look into freelance work or going self-employed
  • Brush up your skills using free online resources, or organisations such as learndirect
  • Consider learning a new trade through apprenticeships, traineeships, or internships
  • Speak to a Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre about support for people with disabilities who are looking for work (e.g. Access to Work)
  • Check your employment rights as an ex-offender at GOV.UK
  • Improve your communication skills
  • Seek advice from agencies and employers on your applications and interviews
  • If you are a member of a union, ask about the range and type of support available to help people looking for work or wishing to update their skills and competencies

Further information

Further guidance is available on the National Careers Service and GOV.UK websites. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes economic data for the UK.