Employment rate the highest in our history

New employment figures show a record rate of employment, and wages continuing to grow. These figures, alongside unemployment being at its lowest since 2008, and youth unemployment its lowest for ten years, mean more people than ever before have the security of a job and regular pay packet so they can provide for themselves and their families.

The Government's plan for a more prosperous future is delivering for working people with wages growing. And next year we will build on this positive story with the introduction of the National Living Wage boosting pay packets, alongside extra support with the new offer of 30 hours free childcare for working families. 
This is good progress, but as we move closer to our goal of full employment we need to continue to help the hardest to reach into work and ensure as many people as possible benefit from the growing economy. 

Employment: 31.3 million (up 505,000 over the past year and up by over 2.2 million since 2010).
Employment rate: 73.9% (up 1.0 points over the past year and up 3.7 points since 2010).
Unemployment: 1.71 million (down 244,000 over the past year and down 796,000 since 2010).
Unemployment rate: 5.2% (down 0.8 points over the past year and down 2.8 points since 2010).
Claimant count (Jobseeker's Allowance and Universal Credit not in work): 796,200 in November (down 112,400 on last year and down 698,600 since 2010).
Wages: average total pay rose by 2.4% over the last year. Inflation over the same period was close to flat.

Other useful statistics:

  • The employment rate is at the highest in our history - at 73.9% of people aged 16-64.
  • Almost three-quarters of the growth in employment since 2010 has been full-time.
  • Only 2.4% of people in work are on zero-hours contracts.
  • Unemployment has fallen to a seven year low - at 5.2%
  • Private sector employment is up by 2.7 million since 2010.
  • There are more women in work than ever before with 975,000 more women in work since 2010, and the number of unemployed women down by 91,000 over the year. 
  • The proportion of under-25s who are unemployed and not full-time students is the lowest on record - at 5.8%
  • Among older people (50-64), employment is up 91,000 on the quarter and 272,000 on the year to 8.35 million.
  • The number of long-term unemployed people has fallen by 25% in the last year to 509,000 - the lowest level in six years. 
  • Vacancies were at 747,000 in the three months to November, up 45,000 on the year and 285,000 since 2010