Employment stays at record level

15 Mar 17

The employment rate remained at a record high of 74.6% for the three months to January 2017, latest figures from the Office for National statistics have shown.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 4.7% from 5.1% the previous year, the lowest level in 12 years. According to the ONS, the rate has not been lower since 1975.

Today’s data release showed that there were 31.85 million people in work, an increase of 92,000 on the previous three months, and an increase of 315,000 compared with the year before.

Of these new jobs, 305,000 were full-time positions and 10,000 were part-time.

According to the data, there are now 1.58 million unemployed people in the UK, 106,000 fewer than this time last year. Long-term unemployment is at 393,000.

The proportion of 16-24 year olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed is 5.1%.

Employment minister Damian Hinds said: “I’m delighted by another set of record-breaking figures showing more people in work that ever before and unemployment falling to its lowest in 12 years.”

He added: “Employment is up, wages are up and there are more people working full time.”

Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said that on jobs, the UK economy continued to perform well, with employment remaining at a record high.

“But this labour market tightening is not feeding through into wage pressure with all the signs now pointing to an end to Britain’s short lived pay recovery,” she said.

“Weak pay rises and rising inflation mean that a fresh squeeze is due later this year, and has already begun for some workers, especially in the public sector.”

She said the outlook for pay was “incredibly poor” and observed that the 2010s were the weakest decade for pay growth since the Napoleonic wars.

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