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Unemployment rate at 11-year low

The unemployment rate has remained at an 11-year low of just 4.8% – down by more than 900,000 since 2010

The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that employment continues to run at a near-record high rate of 74.5%, with 31.8 million people in work – an increase of over 2.7 million since 2010.

There are 294,000 more people in work compared to this time last year.

The rise in employment continues to be driven by full-time work, which is up by 2 million since 2010. And long-term unemployment is the lowest it has been since 2008.

Average wages excluding bonuses grew by 2.7% over the last year, as the claimant count remained at 2.3%, close to its lowest rate since 1975.

Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, said:

“We start the new year with another encouraging set of figures. Employment continues to run at a near-record high, unemployment remains at an 11-year low and both figures are stronger than this time last year – highlighting the strength and resilience of our labour market as we step up to the challenges of 2017.

There are 294,000 more people in work compared to this time last year.

“We have made real progress creating a strong economy and helping more people into work, and will do what is needed to continue that trajectory as we build a country that works for everyone.”

Figures also show:

  • Youth unemployment is down by over 360,000 since 2010 and the lowest in 11 years
  • Long-term unemployment is the lowest since mid-2008

A separate set of official statistics released show the latest number of claims to Universal Credit. The statistics show that 900,000 claims had been made to Universal Credit up to 8 December, with an average of 13,000 new claims per week in the preceding 4 weeks. Of those on Universal Credit at 8 December, 43% were in work.

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