Thursday, March 16, 2017

Unemployment falls to 12-year low

Latest ONS figures released yesterday show that unemployment in the UK has fallen for the three months to January 2017 to its lowest level since 2005 and joint lowest level since 1975.

Joblessness dropped to 4.7%, down from 4.8% a month earlier and from 5.1% in January 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The last time unemployment was this low was a period of strong economic growth in 2004 and 2005, and joblessness has not been lower since the mid-1970's.

Employment rose to a new record high of 31.85m with an extra 92,000 jobs created over the three-month period, while unemployment fell by 32,000 to 1.58m.

The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work. Meanwhile, average weekly wages grew by 2.2% over the last year.

Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds said:
"I’m delighted by another set of record-breaking figures showing more people in work than ever before and unemployment falling to its lowest in 12 years. 
Employment is up, wages are up and there are more people working full time. This is good news for hardworking families across the UK as we continue to build a country that works for everyone. 
But we have more to do, which is why we’re pressing ahead with our welfare reforms to ensure that it always pays to be in work."
Today’s figures also show:
  • there are 1.58 million unemployed people, 106,000 fewer than this time last year
  • the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed is 5.1%
  • long-term unemployment is at 393,000 – the lowest since before the 2008 recession
  • there are around 760,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time

More details on the government website at

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