UK Jobless Rate Hits 42-Year Low


UK unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in the three months to March 2017 from 4.7 percent in the previous period and below market expectations of 4.7 percent. It was the lowest jobless rate since July of 1975. The employment rate rose to a fresh all-time high of 74.8 percent, as the number of people in work went up by 122 thousand. Meanwhile, excluding the bonuses, pay adjusted for price inflation decreased by 0.2 percent from the previous year, the first decline since the third quarter of 2014.

Estimates from the Labour Force Survey show that, between October to December 2016 and January to March 2017, the number of people in work increased, the number of unemployed people fell, and the number of people aged from 16 to 64 not working and not seeking or available to work (economically inactive) also fell.

There were 1.54 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 53,000 fewer than for October to December 2016 and 152,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.6%, down from 5.1% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975. 

There were 31.95 million people in work, 122,000 more than for October to December 2016 and 381,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.8%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971. 

There were 8.83 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 40,000 fewer than for October to December 2016 and 82,000 fewer than for a year earlier. The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.5%, down from 21.8% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

Average weekly earnings for employees in nominal terms increased by 2.4 percent including bonuses, and by 2.1 percent excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier. In real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation), average weekly earnings increased by 0.1 percent including bonuses, and fell by 0.2 percent excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.



ONS | Yekaterina Guchshina | yekaterina@tradingeconomics.com
5/17/2017 8:55:04 AM