The UK unemployment rate came in at 3.8 percent in the three months to April 2019, its lowest level since the October to December 1974 period and in line with market expectations. Unemployment dropped by 34,000 to 1.30 million and employment increased by 32,000 to a record high of 32.75 million. Meanwhile, total pay growth eased to 3.1 percent from the previous period's 3.3 percent.
Estimated unemployment rates for both men and women aged 16 years and over have been generally falling since late 2013. For February to April 2019, the estimated unemployment rate: for everyone was 3.8 percent, the lowest since October to December 1974; for men was 4 percent, slightly lower than a year earlier (4.3 percent); for women was 3.7 percent, the joint-lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
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For February to April 2019, an estimated 1.30 million people were unemployed, 112,000 fewer than a year earlier and 857,000 fewer than five years earlier. Looking in more detail at this fall of 857,000 unemployed people over the last five years: people unemployed for up to 6 months fell by 249,000 to 779,000; people out of work for between 6 and 12 months fell by 162,000 to 178,000; the largest fall was for people unemployed for over one year (down 446,000 to 347,000).
Estimated employment rates for men and women aged between 16 and 64 years have been generally increasing since early 2012. For February to April 2019, the estimated employment rate: for all people was 76.1 percent, the joint-highest since comparable records began in 1971; for men was 80.3 percent; slightly higher than a year earlier (80 percent); for women was 72 percent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971. The increase in the employment rate for women in recent years is due partly to changes to the State Pension age for women, resulting in fewer women retiring between the ages of 60 and 65 years.
Estimates for February to April 2019 show 32.75 million people aged 16 years and over in employment, 357,000 more than for a year earlier. This annual increase of 357,000 was due entirely to more people working full-time (up 402,000 on the year to reach 24.15 million). Part-time working showed a fall of 45,000 on the year to reach 8.60 million.
Since comparable records began in 1971, the economic inactivity rate for all people aged from 16 to 64 years has been generally falling (although it increased during recessions). This is due to a gradual fall in the economic inactivity rate for women. For people aged from 16 to 64 years, for February to April 2019, the estimated economic inactivity rate: for all people was 20.8 percent, close to a record low; for men was 16.3 percent; for women was 25.2 percent, the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
Estimates for February to April 2019 showed 8.58 million people aged from 16 to 64 years not in the labour force (economically inactive). This was 87,000 fewer than a year earlier and 381,000 fewer than five years earlier.
Between February to April 2018 and February to April 2019 for employees in Great Britain: total pay was estimated to have increased by 3.1 percent in nominal terms and by 1.2 percent in real terms; and regular pay was estimated to have increased by 3.4 percent in nominal terms and by 1.5 percent in real terms.