More jobs as UK unemployment reaches lowest level since recession
Unemployment is declining faster than expected, figures from the ONS show.
Unemployment is still falling as the UK’s economy continues with its growth phase, according to the latest data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figures show that joblessness in the UK fell by 154,000 in the three months between June and August compared to the previous quarter.
That also meant that the June-August period saw 538,000 fewer people out of work than the same period last year – the biggest annual drop since records began in 1972.
At the same time, 46,000 more people got into work over the period than they had in the previous three months. That was the smallest improvement in a year, but it also meant that a total of 736,000 more people were working in June-August than they were a year earlier.
Overall, this means that unemployment surpassed expectations by falling to just six per cent throughout the period. As the lowest rate since 2008, that demonstrates that the UK is really getting back on its feet, at least in terms of people in work.
“All of our reforms are focussed on helping people into work and today’s record figures show that the government’s long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is proving successful,” said employment minister Esther McVey.
Separate studies in recent weeks have found that pay is rising quickly in many high-skilled and professional sectors, especially those where skills gaps are emerging.
Neil Carberry, director for employment and skills at the Confederation of British Industry, explains that steps need to be taken to boost productivity and thus make bigger pay rises possible.
“Whilst pay growth has risen, it remains sluggish, reflecting persistently weak productivity. All politicians need to look beyond short-term headlines to policies that will boost skills and productivity, underpinning the ability of firms to pay more in future,” he said.