Boom in full time jobs and people becoming self-employed sees the number of people in work hit highest number since records began almost FIFTY years ago
- Employment jumped by 179,000 in the three months to February, to 32.7 million
- Up by 457,000 in past year, all among full-time workers and self-employed
- Those in part-time work fell by 15,000, the Office for National Statistics said
- The 3.9 per cent unemployment rate now lower than any time since end of 1975
The number of people in work has reached a record high driven by a surge in full time jobs and those becoming self-employed, official figures revealed today.
Employment jumped by 179,000 in the three months to February, to 32.7 million, the highest total since records began in 1971 – 48 years ago.
The figure has increased by 457,000 over the past year, all among full-time employees and the self-employed, while the number of people in part-time jobs fell by 15,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Unemployment fell by 27,000 to 1.34 million, continuing a general trend which started in early 2012.
The UK’s unemployment rate of 3.9% is now lower than at any time since the end of 1975.
The ONS’s deputy head of labour market statistics, Matt Hughes said: ‘The jobs market remains robust, with the number of people in work continuing to grow.
‘The increase over the past year is all coming from full-timers, both employees and the self-employed.
‘Earnings have now been growing ahead of inflation for over a year, but in real terms, wage levels have not yet returned to their pre-downturn peak.’
Total pay, including bonuses, now averages £494 a week, compared with £525 in February 2008, the year of the economic crash.
Average earnings increased by 3.5% in the year to February, no change on the previous month, but still outpacing inflation.
When adjusted for inflation, pay, including bonuses, increased by 1.6% on the year, the highest figure since the summer of 2016.
The number of economically inactive people fell by 114,000 in the latest quarter to 8.53 million, a rate of just under 21%, the joint lowest on record.
The number of vacancies is unchanged at 852,000.
Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said: ‘It’s particularly pleasing to see there are now a record number of women in work and a record number of people with secure, full-time jobs.
‘Since we came to government, unemployment has fallen in every region of the UK and over three quarters of new jobs have been created outside of London.’
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