UK Employment Rate Reaches Record High but Unemployment Rises

Figures released today from the Office for National Statistics have shown that the level of employment in the UK has reached a record high. The figures show that 402,000 people have moved into employment over the last year and the unemployment rate has remained at 4.3%. Unemployment has though risen for a second month running, increasing concerns of a slow-down in the employment market.

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

“Getting a job means securing an income for a family and the chance to build a better future. That’s why up and down the country we are doing all we can to help people into work. And from next month, we’ll be taking thousands more people out of paying tax and also increasing the National Living Wage, benefiting those on the lowest pay and making sure they keep more of what they earn. In fact by raising the National Living Wage we have ensured that the lowest earners have seen their wages grow by almost 7% above inflation since 2015”.

Margaret Greenwood, the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“Many people are struggling with low pay and insecure work and the rise in unemployment is further bad news. With eight million people in working households living in poverty and the cost of basic essentials remaining high, the Spring Statement was a missed opportunity for the Government to take the urgent action needed. The Government has also failed to close the employment gap faced by women, disabled people and BAME groups, who have too often borne the brunt of austerity cuts”.