Record 75 per cent in work with jobless total at lowest since 1975

Record 75 per cent in work with jobless total at lowest since 1975

The number of people in work has reached a new record while earnings grow in line with inflation.

Employment increased by 197,000 in the quar-ter to March to 32.3million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.6 per cent.

Unemployment fell by 46,000 to 1.42million, giving a jobless rate of 4.2 per cent, the lowest since 1975, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average earnings increased by 2.6 per cent in the year to March, down by 0.2 per cent on the previous month, but 0.2 per cent up on a year ago. The latest CPI inflation figure is 2.5 per cent.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: ‘With employment up again in the three months to March, the rate has hit a new record, with unemployment remaining at its lowest rate since 1975.

‘The growth in employment is still being driven by UK nationals, with a slight drop over the past year in the number of foreign workers.
‘It’s important to remember, though, that this isn’t a measure of migration.
‘Growth in total pay remains in line with infla-tion, meaning real earnings are flat on the year.’

Meanwhile the number of non-UK nationals from EU countries working in this country fell by 28,000 to 2.29million over the past year, the first annual fall since 2010.

The figure for non-UK nationals from outside the UK increased by 20,000 to 1.25million.

The number of people working in the UK from the eight East European countries that joined the EU in 2004 fell by 91,000 to 917,000, the biggest annual reduction since records began in 1997.

The proportion of all people working in the UK accounted for by non-UK nationals has increased from 3.5 per cent in 1997 to 11 per cent now.
The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker’s Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit, increased by 31,200 last month to 897,000, the highest for over three years. Job vacancies fell by 16,000 to 806,000.

The number of self-employed workers fell by 33,000 to 4.75 million.
Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said: ‘Since 2010 we have seen 3.2million more people move into work right across the UK. Youth unemployment has fallen by over 40 per cent.

‘With wages growing faster than inflation and increases in the personal tax allowance, not only are more people bringing home a pay packet but they are keeping more of their hard-earned money for themselves and their families.’

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