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UK employment rate reaches record high

News | Uk employment rate | Latest official figures | Average pay

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The UK employment rate has risen to a record high of 73.7 per cent and average pay has grown by three per cent over the last year, according to the latest official figures released yesterday.

New statistics from the government's Department for Work and Pensions show the unemployment rate approaching pre-recession levels at 5.3 per cent, the lowest rate since early 2008. There has also been a drop of 210,000 in the number of unemployed people in the last year.

What do other figures show?

Aside from these record breaking figures, other data shows that there are more women in work now than ever before, an increase of almost a million since 2010.

Youth unemployment in the UK is at the lowest level since early 2006, and the employment rate for young people who have left full time education is up to 74.3 per cent, the highest in more than a decade.

Meanwhile, the number of long-term unemployed people has fallen by 25 per cent in the last year to 514,000, the lowest level in six years.

However, annual average weekly earnings, excluding bonuses, increased by 2.5 per cent, which is the the weakest reading since the first quarter of 2015. And including bonuses, average weekly earnings growth held steady at three per cent.

Employment minister Priti Patel said: “Employment is at a record breaking high, and wages have continued to grow strongly, demonstrating that this government is delivering for hardworking people.

“With two million more people in work since 2010, the unemployment rate at its lowest in seven years, and the number of people on one of the main out of work benefits down by a million since 2010, it is clear that this government is transforming lives for the better, and creating the higher wage, lower welfare society that British people want to see.

“But this growth is only one part of the story, because our one nation approach involves a commitment to provide opportunity and security for everyone across the country.”

What does this mean regionally?

The government claims that the gap between the north and south has been narrowed by investing in skills, infrastructure, science and education to create jobs and opportunities in the north, thereby creating a Northern Powerhouse.

Since 2010, the figures show that there are 329,000 more people in work in the North.

Do the figures support working families?

Families in the UK will be be supported by the government by continuing to reform welfare, including lowering the benefit cap to £23,000 in London and £20,000 elsewhere. To help raise employment, three million apprenticeships will be created and free childcare will be doubled to 30 hours for working parents.

The new living wage will be introduced in April which is expected to reach £9 an hour by 2020, promising to benefit six million workers and boost pay for those on the minimum wage by £5,200 by 2020.

How does this affect recruitment?

Getting people back into work isn’t always a simple issue and competition is just as tough as ever before. CIPD research shows that employers have headed off the threat from skills and shortages by hiring more young people, upskilling the existing workforce and turning to migrant workers.

Following the release of the figures, David Lahey, VP international at Jobvite, said: “The cornerstone of any strong business is people, and with the skills shortage sitting alongside the job market squeeze, the best candidates are going to be even harder to hire and retain. This is especially true when you consider that Jobvite’s 2015 UK Social Recruitment Study revealed that 58 per cent of recruiters say that the biggest challenge their company faces in hiring quality talent is down to the lack of skilled or qualified workers.”


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 12th November 2015

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