Employment rate reaches record high, ONS figures show
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that the UK’s employment rate has reached a record high of 75.7%, up from 74.9% a year earlier.
The number of people in employment reached 32.40 million, 137,000 more than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 388,000 more than the previous year.
The unemployment rate reached a record low of 4.2%, down from 4.5% for a year earlier, with the number of unemployed people standing at 1.41 million. This was 12,000 fewer than the number of people who were not in work between December 2017 to February 2018 and 84,000 less than the previous year.
There was also a decrease in the number of people aged 16 to 64 who were economically inactive, with the inactivity rate standing at a record 21.0%, down from 21.5% for a year earlier. A total of 8.64 people were economically inactive, 86,000 less than for December 2017 to February 2018 and 184,000 less than for the previous year.
Average weekly earnings for Britain’s employees rose by 2.7% (excluding bonuses) and 2.5%, including bonuses, compared with the previous year.
Commenting on the figures, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s Chief Executive Neil Carberry said that regardless of political uncertainty, the UK jobs market is extraordinarily robust, and because it is flexible, few people who wish to work are struggling to find it.
He added that there might be more difficult times ahead as Britain moves closer to leaving the EU, and with high employment, a comprehensive mobility deal is required to prevent a lack of people being a brake on jobs and affluence.