According to today’s publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the employment rate reached 75.3 per cent in the three months to July, the highest level since records began in 1971.
Commenting on the report, Recruitment & Employment Confederation chief executive Kevin Green has 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.
“However, inflation is increasing and real wages are failing to keep up, so many people will be feeling a pay squeeze. Our data suggests that in many areas of the jobs market employers are offering more money to new recruits in order to secure people with the skills they need. This is a response to the tightening labour market and skills shortages which are affecting many different sectors, from engineering to food production.
“With unemployment now at 4.3 per cent it’s going to get even harder for employers to fill jobs. There are just 1.9 unemployed people for every vacancy. This challenge is being exacerbated by a fall in net migration from the EU. The idea that there are enough people in the UK ready and willing to take the jobs available is unrealistic.
“Businesses can only grow if they have access to the people and skills they need. It is essential that the government recognises this by developing an evidence-based immigration system that will support the economy.”
ONS report’s main points for May to July 2017:
- Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between February to April 2017 and May to July 2017, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people fell, and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) also fell.
- There were 32.14 million people in work, 181,000 more than for February to April 2017 and 379,000 more than for a year earlier.
- The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.3%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
- There were 1.46 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 75,000 fewer than for February to April 2017 and 175,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
- The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.3%, down from 4.9% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.
- There were 8.74 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 107,000 fewer than for February to April 2017 and 96,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
- The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, down from 21.6% for a year earlier and the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
- Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.1%, both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.
- Latest estimates show that average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) fell by 0.4%, both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.
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