Unemployment rate falls to 11-year low

The unemployment rate has dropped to an 11-year low of just 4.8% – down by more than 900,000 since 2010 – according to figures out today.

The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that employment continues to run at a record high rate of 74.5%, with 31.8 million people in work – an increase of almost 2.8 million since 2010.

There are 461,000 more people in work compared to this time last year, and 49,000 more compared to the previous quarter’s figures.

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

Employment Minister, Damian Hinds, said:

"Yet again we have a strong set of figures, with employment continuing to run at a record high and unemployment falling to a 11-year low.

"Growth is being fuelled by full-time professional jobs while wages are continuing to perform strongly, which underlines the resilience of the UK labour market.

"The measures we have taken have put our economy in a position of strength, and we will work to ensure more people can benefit from these opportunities as we build a country that works for everyone."

Today’s figures also show:

• youth unemployment is down by almost 350,000 since 2010
• the number of disabled people in work has increased by 590,000 in the past 3 years
• women in work at joint record high of 69.8%

Read the Labour Market Statistics – November 2016 from the Office for National Statistics.

A separate set of figures out today show over 800,000 people have now made a claim to Universal Credit – of those receiving Universal Credit, 40% are now in work with an average of more than 12,500 new claims being made to the revolutionary new benefit every week.

Read the latest statistics on the number of claims to Universal Credit.