Nearly a million more people are in work compared to a year ago, and the employment rate has never been higher, new official figures show.
The record-breaking annual rise in employment of 929,000 sees the employment rate rising to 73.1%, equal to the record high in 2005. There are now 30.6 million people in work, 1.8 million more than in 2010, showing that the Government’s long-term plan is helping to create jobs as the economy grows following the deepest recession since the 1930s. The number of women in work also reached a new record of 14.2 million, with the female employment rate now at 68.1%.
Unemployment also saw the biggest annual fall for nearly two decades, dropping by 383,000. The unemployment rate fell further to 6.5%, the lowest since the end of 2008. Schemes such as the Government’s Work Programme have also contributed to the biggest fall in long-term unemployment since 1998, down by 166,000 on the year.
Minister for Employment Esther McVey said:
“An important milestone has been reached in our country’s recovery. With one of the highest employment rates ever, it’s clear that the Government’s long-term economic plan to help businesses create jobs and get people working again is the right one.
“With an employment rate which has never been higher, record women in work and more young people in jobs, the resilience of the country during the downturn is being rewarded. We know there is more to do, and the best way to do so is to go on delivering a plan that's creating growth and jobs."
The number of unemployed young people saw the largest annual fall since the late 1980s, down 141,000. Youth unemployment has been falling now for ten months, with the number of young people on Jobseeker’s Allowance falling for 31 months, down 133,700 on the year. Youth unemployment is now 127,000 lower than in 2010.
Since 2010 over two thirds of the rise in employment has been in higher skilled occupations, generally commanding a higher wage. The UK’s unemployment rate is also lower than the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain and the EU average.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance fell again, down 36,300 on the month, and down 418,900 on the year. Long-term JSA claims fell by 111,000 compared to last year, the largest annual fall since 1998. There are nearly half a million fewer people claiming JSA than in 2010.
Job vacancies rose again, up 117,000 over the past year bringing the number of vacancies in the UK economy to 648,000.
Background to labour market statistics: July 2014
This month's Labour Force Survey covers March 2014 to May 2014. The claimant count is for June 2014 and the vacancy count for April 2014 to June 2014.
The number of people in work rose this quarter
1. 30.64 million people were in work in March to May 2014
2. The employment level rose 254,000 on the previous quarter and 929,000 on the year
3. The employment rate is 73.1%, up 0.5 points on the quarter and up 1.7 points on the year
ILO unemployment fell this quarter
1. 2.12 million people were ILO unemployed in the March to May 2014 quarter, down 121,000 on the previous quarter and 383,000 on the year
2. The ILO unemployment rate is 6.5%, down 0.4 points on the quarter and down 1.3 points on the year
The level of economic inactivity is down on the quarter and on the year
1. The economic inactivity level is 8.78 million in the March to May 2014 quarter, down 67,000 on the previous quarter and 258,000 on the year
2. The economic inactivity rate is 21.7%, down 0.2 points on the quarter and down 0.7 points on the year
3. Excluding students, inactivity as a share of the 16-64 population is 16.2%, down 0.2 points on the quarter and down 0.6 points on the year
The number of people claiming one of the main out-of-work benefits is falling
1. Claimant unemployment was 1.04 million in June 2014, down 36,300 on the month and down 418,900 on the year
2. The claimant count rate is 3.1%, down 0.1 points on the month and down 1.2 points on the year
3. In the year to November 2013, the number claiming incapacity benefits fell 43,600 to 2.46 million. The most recent provisional figure for May 2014 suggests the caseload has risen slightly since then
4. In the year to November 2013, the number of lone parents on income support fell 25,000 to 485,000. The provisional figure for May 2014 is 475,000
The number of redundancies fell and unfilled vacancies rose on the quarter
There were 116,000 redundancies in March to May 2014, down 1,000 on the previous quarter and down 2,000 on the year
1. ONS' vacancy survey estimates an average of 648,000 unfilled vacancies in the three months to June 2014, up 30,000 on the previous quarter and 117,000 on the year
Total weekly pay in May 2014 was up by 0.3% over the year
1. Growth in regular weekly pay, excluding bonuses, was up by 0.7% on the year