Employment (return to main news page)

Number of UK workers reaches new record high.

Britain now has more people in work than at any time in its history, according to data published this week.

The March employment review was published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday. It assesses data from the quarter ending in January 2019.

ONS estimates suggest that there are currently 32.7 million people employed within the UK. That brings the the total employment rate to 76.1 per cent. This is the highest rate of employment on record.

The figure indicates a fall in unemployment of 35,000 over the previous quarter. This brings the total number of individuals currently out of work to 1.34 million. It means that the UK unemployment rate has now fallen below the 4 per cent support line for the first time.

At the same time, the total number of advertised vacancies also continued to rise steadily, by 4,000 to 854,000 overall.

Earnings also continued to rise slightly above the rate of inflation. Annual pay calculations for the quarter from November 2018 to January 2019 showed a nominal increase of 3.4 per cent. Adjusted for inflation, this provides a real terms rise in basic salaries of 1.4 per cent. With bonuses included, the increase stands at 1.5 per cent.