UK unemployment falls to lowest level since 1975

UK unemployment fell to its lowest level since January 1975 in the three months to October this year.

The number of people out of work fell by 13,000 to 1.281 million, Office for National Statistics figures show.

The employment rate rose to an all-time high of 76.2%, with an increase of 24,000 taking the number of people in work up to a total of 32.8 million.

However, annual wage growth, excluding bonuses, slowed to 3.5% from 3.6% from July to September.

ONS head of labour market David Freeman said: “While the estimate of the employment rate nudged up in the most recent quarter, the longer-term picture has seen it broadly flat over the last few quarters. However, unemployment among women has reached a new record low.

“Vacancies have fallen for 10 months in a row and are now below 800,000 for the first time in over two years.

“Pay is still increasing in real terms, but its growth rate has slowed in the last few months.”

There were an estimated 794,000 vacancies in the UK for September to November 2019. That is 20,000 fewer than in the last quarter and 59,000 fewer than a year earlier.

The estimated employment rate for men was 80.4% and for women was 72%.

For October 2019, average regular pay, before tax and other deductions, was estimated at £509.68 per week.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “There’s talent up and down this country – three-quarters of employment growth in the last year has been outside London and the South East.

“I’m looking forward to getting Brexit done and unleashing Britain’s potential, levelling up opportunity across the country.”

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