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Unemployment falls to 4.3 per cent

News | Unemployment | Statistics | Earnings

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Unemployment in the UK fell to 4.3 per cent between February to April 2017 and May to July 2017, the lowest since 1975, according to new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The ONS also found that the number of people aged between 16 and 64 not working and not seeking or available to work, known as economically inactive, also fell in the period from May to July 2017, standing at 21.2 per cent.

When taking into account the number of economically inactive people in the UK, the country’s employment rate stood at 75.3 per cent, in the months from May to July, which is the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Matt Hughes, senior ONS statistician, said: “Another record high employment rate and a record low inactivity rate suggest the labour market continues to be strong. In particular, the number of people aged 16 to 64 not in the labour force because they are looking after family or home is the lowest since records began, at less than 2.1 million.”

Earnings were comparatively stagnant, at £474 per week before tax, which was up from £465 per week for a year earlier. In real terms, however, wages fell by 0.4 per cent over the last year. This is being blamed on inflation rising sharply since the Brexit result was announced.

There was a drop in the number of job vacancies between June and August 2017, which was 24,000 more than for the previous year, but 7,000 fewer than for March to May this year.

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green said: “Businesses continue to hire despite economic and political uncertainty. The fact that 379,000 more people are in jobs compared to a year ago is great news.”

He went on to say that with unemployment standing at 4.3 per cent, it will become “even harder for employers to fill jobs”, explaining that there are just 1.9 unemployed people for every vacancy.

Mr Green said that businesses “can only grow if they have access to the people and skills they need”.


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 14th September 2017

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