Press release

Employment remains at record high rate of 74.6%

There are 31.84 million people in work, as well as a record high 767,000 vacancies in the economy.


Official figures released today (12 April 2017) show that the employment rate is at 74.6%, with 31.84 million people in work – an increase of 312,000 on the year and the joint highest rate since records began in 1971.

The employment rate remains at a record high of 74.6%

The Office for National Statistics has also announced that the unemployment rate remains low at 4.7%. It has not been lower since 1975.

Full-time work continues to be the driving force behind the rise in employment. Average weekly wages grew by 2.3% including bonuses over the last year. Wage growth has remained above 2% every month since the beginning of 2016.

Secretary of State Damian Green said:

This is yet another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before.

More people are finding full-time jobs and average wages have grown yet again, meaning more families have the security of a regular wage.

However, there is always more to do. That’s why we’re creating a welfare system that rewards work through Universal Credit, which helps claimants keep more of the money they earn.

Today’s figures also show:

  • there are 1.56 million unemployed people, 141,000 fewer than this time last year
  • the number of people in full-time employment grew by 146,000 in the last 3 months
  • the unemployment rate of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education is 10.9% – a decrease of 1.3% from last year
  • long-term unemployment is at 389,000 – the lowest since 2008

Separate figures out today show 1.1 million claims have been made to Universal Credit. Of the 490,000 people now claiming Universal Credit, nearly 40% are in work.

More information

Read the Labour Market Statistics – April 2017 from the Office for National Statistics.

Estimates of the Claimant Count are no longer included in the ONS statistical bulletin as they may now be providing a misleading representation of the UK labour market. ONS released a statement explaining the decision about the claimant count on 23 February 2017.

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Published 12 April 2017