Employment figures

The UK’s unemployment rate of 4.0% has not been lower since the 1970s and the employment rate remains at a near record high 75.5%.

Britain’s unemployment rate has not been lower since the mid-1970s, as official figures released by the Office for National Statistics show it’s fallen to 4.0%, with 1.15 million fewer unemployed people since 2010.

The UK saw a sixth continuous month of real terms pay increases, with regular wages up by 2.9% in July, or 0.5% against CPIH inflation.

Meanwhile the employment rate remains high, at 75.5%, with over 3.3 million more people in work since 2010 and youth unemployment at a record low, falling by over 45% since 2010.

1.45 million more children are living in a home with all adults in work, and the proportion of children living in a household with no working adults has fallen by 33% in the UK since 2010, reaching a record low and taking tens of thousands of children out of poverty.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:

Since 2010 we have delivered significant growth in jobs, and in the last 6 months we’ve seen real terms wage growth.

We haven’t had a lower unemployment rate for over 40 years and I’m especially proud that youth unemployment is at a record low, falling by over 45% since 2010 – opening up career opportunities for our next generation.

In the EU we see unemployment rates over double those of the UK. This government is transforming this country into a great working nation. Ready and prepared for the future challenges after Brexit.

Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharma said:

With unemployment rate still at its lowest level in 43 years, it is good to see that for the sixth month in a row wages have grown faster than inflation helping to put more money in people’s pockets. In the last quarter regular pay is up by 2.9%, 0.5% above inflation.

Households across the country are benefiting from the security of being in work, and with increasing wages and GDP growth of 0.6% last quarter we are delivering an economy that supports working people.

We’ve taken millions out of paying income tax altogether, and by raising the National Living Wage have helped deliver the fastest pay rise for the lowest earners in 20 years.

Commenting on the latest ONS Labour Market statistics, Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:

“These latest figures suggest employment has stopped growing, at least temporarily – a possible sign the UK labour market is finally beginning to run out of people, rather than a signal that employer demand for labour and skills is drying up.

“However, the increasing challenge that employers face in accessing the labour and skills they need is only translating into very modest pay growth for most workers, with real pay near flatlining over the last 12 months. Until we see sustainable improvements in productivity growth this picture is unlikely to change.”





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.