Press release

Record 31.7 million in work, as unemployment rate falls below 5%

The employment rate hits a record high of 74.4%, with 31.7 million people in work.

The employment rate in the UK is now at a record high of 74.4% and the unemployment rate is at its lowest in over 10 years at 4.9%, according to the latest set of figures.

The Office for National Statistics confirmed today that there are a record 31.7 million people now in work – up by 624,000 in the past year and over 2.6 million since 2010.

The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work. Average wages before bonuses grew by 2.2% over the last year.

The employment rate hits a record high of 74.4%

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Damian Green said:

This remarkable set of figures shows that there are more people in work than at any other point in our history, which is fantastic news as we build a Britain that works for everybody, not just the privileged few.

We’ve entered a period of significant change, but when it comes to our jobs market we’re in a position of strength, with over 2.6 million more people in work than there were in 2010, the number of workless households cut to an all-time low, 750,000 vacancies in the economy and wages rising too.

Our 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. Encouragingly, employment has risen in all regions and nations of the UK over the last year.

Today’s labour market statistics also show:

  • the female employment rate is at 69.6%, the highest since records began in 1971

  • at 5.6%, the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed has never been lower

More information

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

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