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Number in employment reaches record high

There are a record 810,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time

Official figures released show that the employment rate is at a joint record high of 75.3%, with a record 32.2 million people in work.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, also show that unemployment is at its lowest level since 1975.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said:

“We had a record-breaking 2017 for employment, and I’m delighted to see this trend continue as we enter the new year.

“The number of people in work is at an all-time high and the unemployment rate has not been this low for over 40 years.

“At this time of year, straight after Christmas, people might be feeling a squeeze on their finances. We’re determined to help people keep more of what they earn.

“That’s why we’ve increased the National Living Wage, introduced Universal Credit to offer greater flexibility and taken millions of people out of income tax altogether by raising the tax-free personal allowance.”

In 2017, at least 10 employment records were broken. The employment rate and the number of people in work, the number of women in work and black and minority ethnic employment all reached record highs during the year.

The employment figures also show:

  • There are a record 810,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time
  • The number of people in employment has increased by over 3 million since 2010
  • The UK has the third highest employment rate in the G7
  • The number of workers aged 50 plus has reached a record 10 million
  • Touth unemployment has fallen by over 40% since 2010

Separate figures also released today show there are 700,000 people claiming Universal Credit as the rollout of the new benefit continues, with 42% in employment.

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