Press release

Record 31.75 million in work, as unemployment rate remains at 10-year low of 4.9%

The employment rate in the UK is now at a record high of 74.5% and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in over 10 years at 4.9%.


The Office for National Statistics confirmed today that there are a record 31.75 million people now in work – up by more than 600,000 in the past year and by 2.7 million since 2010.

The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work, which has accounted for 75% of the growth since 2010. Average wages before bonuses grew by 2.3% over the last year.

Employment rate rises to a new record high of 74.5%

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds, said:

These record-breaking figures show that there are more people in work than ever before, which is great news as we build a Britain that works for everybody not just the privileged few.

We’re in a position of strength, but we can’t be complacent which is why we’re pressing ahead with our welfare reforms like Universal Credit to ensure it always pays for people to be in work.

The job now is to build on this success story so that everybody can benefit from the opportunities that are being created regardless of who they are or where they come from.

Today’s labour market statistics also show:

  • the female employment rate is at 69.6%, the highest since records began in 1971
  • at 5.8%, the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed is close to the lowest on record

A separate set of figures on Universal Credit, also out today, show over 683,000 people have now made a claim to it – with an average of more than 14,000 new claims being made to the revolutionary new benefit every week.

Read the Labour Market Statistics – August 2016 from the Office for National Statistics.

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Published 17 August 2016