Press release

Unemployment remains at 40-year low

Official figures show that unemployment has remained at 4.3%, the lowest rate since 1975.


The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, also show that employment remains at a near record high, with 32 million people in work.

Increases in full-time and permanent work are behind the figures. In the last year the number of people on zero hours contracts has fallen by 20,000.

Unemployment is at its lowest since 1975 at 4.3%

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said:

The strength of the economy is driving an increase in full-time, permanent jobs and a near-record number of people are now in work thanks to the government’s welfare reforms.

When unemployment fell to 5% early last year, many people thought it couldn’t get much lower, and yet it now stands at 4.3%.

Everyone should be given the opportunity to find work and enjoy the stability of a regular pay packet. We’ve cut income tax for 30 million people since 2010, meaning people keep more of their money each month.

Today’s employment figures also show

  • the number of people in employment has increased by more than 3 million since 2010
  • the UK has the third highest employment rate in the G7
  • the number of workers aged 50+ has almost reached 10 million – a record level
  • youth unemployment has fallen by over 40% since 2010
  • there are a near record 780,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time
  • the proportion of young people who are unemployed and not in full time education remains below 5%

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

Separate figures out today show there are 630,000 people on Universal Credit, with 40% in employment.

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Published 15 November 2017