Press release

Employment rate reaches another new record high

Official figures out today show that the employment rate is at 75.4% – up 0.8 percentage points from 74.6% a year ago and the highest since records began.

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Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 427,000 more people have moved into employment in the last year, with 32.26 million now in work. On average, 1,000 more people have entered employment every day since 2010.

The unemployment rate (4.2%) has not been lower since 1975, and the number of people out of work is down by 136,000 compared to a year ago.

In addition, as recognised by the ONS, wages are now outpacing inflation.

Employment rate remains at record high of 75.4%

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:

Another milestone for employment has been reached under this government as employment reaches a record high, up 3.2 million since 2010 – the 16th time the employment record has been broken in the same period.

That means on average, over 1,000 people have moved into work every day since 2010, and credit has to be given to the businesses who have created those jobs and the individuals who are taking those opportunities.

Day by day we are helping people turn their lives round by getting into employment. Jobs are key to transforming lives and work is the best route out of poverty.

And this month we have again increased the personal allowance and taken more people out of paying tax all together making sure people can keep more of what they earn.

This comes as we have reformed welfare to make work pay, backed businesses to take more people on, and built a stronger, fairer economy. But we want to help even more people benefit from a well-paid job. That’s why we are:

  • improving the welfare system with Universal Credit, which helps people move into work faster and to stay in work longer than under the old system

  • introducing a modern industrial strategy to help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the UK

  • helping people stay in work longer with our Fuller Working Lives strategy, which supports employers to recruit, re-train and retain older workers

  • tackling inequalities in employment highlighted by the Race Disparity Audit, through targeted support in 20 areas around the country and £90 million announced by the Prime Minister to help young people

Today’s employment figures also show:

  • there are 815,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time

  • the number of people in employment has increased by over 3.2 million since 2010

  • the UK has the third highest employment rate in the G7

  • the number of workers aged 50 or over has reached a record 10.1 million

  • youth unemployment level has fallen by over 40% since 2010

  • the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full time education is 5.1%, a fall of 3.9 percentage points since 2010

  • more than 820,000 people are now receiving Universal Credit, with 38% in employment

More information

Read the Labour Market Statistics – April 2018 from the Office for National Statistics.

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Published 17 April 2018