The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that employment continues to run at a near-record high rate of 74.5%, with 31.8 million people in work – an increase of over 2.7 million since 2010.
There are 294,000 more people in work compared to this time last year.
The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work, which is up by 2 million since 2010. And long-term unemployment is the lowest it has been since 2008.
Average wages excluding bonuses grew by 2.7% over the last year, as the claimant count remained at 2.3%, close to its lowest rate since 1975.
Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, said:
We start the new year with another encouraging set of figures. Employment continues to run at a near-record high, unemployment remains at an 11-year low and both figures are stronger than this time last year – highlighting the strength and resilience of our labour market as we step up to the challenges of 2017.
We have made real progress creating a strong economy and helping more people into work, and will do what is needed to continue that trajectory as we build a country that works for everyone.
Today’s figures also show:
youth unemployment is down by over 360,000 since 2010 and the lowest in 11 years
long-term unemployment is the lowest since mid-2008
A separate set of official statistics released today show the latest number of claims to Universal Credit. The statistics show that 900,000 claims had been made to Universal Credit up to 8 December, with an average of 13,000 new claims per week in the preceding 4 weeks. Of those on Universal Credit at 8 December, 43% were in work.