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New employment figures confirmed 2018 had the UK’s strongest jobs market on record with latest figures showing more people in work than ever before

New employment figures confirmed 2018 had the UK’s strongest jobs market on record with latest updates today (22 January) showing:

  • UK employment rate at an all-time high, with more people in work than ever before
  • wage growth has outstripped inflation for the tenth month in a row
  • unemployment rate is 4.0%

The UK has continued to beat its own record-breaking job figures with a new record employment rate of 75.8% and 32.53 million people in work in November, more than ever before.

Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharma welcomed the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which also showed real wages increased for the tenth month in a row just before Christmas. Regular pay grew 3.3% on the year – its fastest growth in almost a decade.

The unemployment rate remained at a joint 43-year low of 4.0% with the employment rate reaching a new record high of 75.8%. And with vacancies at a joint record high, 853,000, the data also shows job opportunities continue to be out there.

Minister of State for Employment Alok Sharma said: “Once again, we see a new record employment rate in the UK, 75.8%, with more people in work than ever before. UK workers also got a much-needed pay boost before Christmas with wages outpacing inflation for the tenth month in a row in November, growing at the fastest rate in a decade.

“There are 328,000 more people in work over the past year, almost entirely driven by full-time jobs as the government delivers an economy that works for the British people.

“Our pro-business policies have helped boost private sector employment by 3.8 million since 2010, and as the Resolution Foundation’s latest report shows, the ‘jobs-boom has helped some of the most disadvantaged groups find employment’, providing opportunities across society.”

Today’s figures also reveal the youth unemployment level has almost halved since 2010, with female employment at a near record high of 71.2%.

Over 3.4 million more people have entered work since 2010, meaning an average of 1,000 more people in work every day. Sectors across the economy are benefiting, with 23,000 more manufacturing jobs in the last year and 22,000 more jobs in the hospitality sector.

The statistics also reveal three-quarters of jobs created since 2010 are full time, permanent roles that are in higher skilled occupations, which typically bring higher earnings – all ambitions of the government’s Industrial Strategy which seeks to create better, well-paying jobs fit for the future.

The government is helping even more people benefit from a well-paid job by:

  • backing businesses to create good jobs with our modern Industrial Strategy, while ensuring they play by the rules, so we are closing tax loopholes, strengthening workers’ rights, and tightening the rules big businesses must follow
  • investing in the infrastructure, training and apprenticeships we need for our future, with public investment at the highest sustained level in 40 years
  • introducing Universal Credit which is helping people move into work faster and stay in it longer, while recent Budget measures mean 2.4 million families will keep up to an extra £630 per year of what they earn
  • helping people stay in work longer with our Fuller Working Lives strategy, which supports employers to recruit, re-train and retain older workers
  • tackling inequalities in employment highlighted by the Race Disparity Audit, through targeted support in 20 areas around the country and £90 million announced by the Prime Minister to help young people
  • arranging work experience sessions for students through Jobcentre Plus, in over 1,400 schools


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