Record number of people in work as earnings remain ‘modestly’ up

A higher proportion of people are in work than ever before in the UK Credit: PA

The number of people in work and job vacancies have reached new record levels, while earnings remain “modestly” up on the year, new figures show.

Employment increased by 137,000 in the quarter to May to 32.4 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971, giving a record rate of 75.7%.

Job vacancies increased by 7,000 to 824,000 – the most since records began in 2001.

Unemployment fell by 12,000 to 1.41 million, giving a jobless rate of 4.2%, the joint lowest for more than 30 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average earnings increased by 2.5% in the year to May, compared with 2.4% the previous month.

Matt Hughes, senior ONS statistician, said: “We’ve had yet another record employment rate, while the number of job vacancies is also a new record.

“From this it’s clear that the labour market is still growing strongly. Meanwhile, real earnings remain modestly up on the year, both including and excluding bonuses.”

The number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, those on long-term sick leave, early retirement or who have given up looking for work, fell by 86,000 to 8.6 million, giving a rate of 21%, a record low.

The claimant count, which includes people on Jobseeker’s Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit increased by 7,800 last month to 898,700, around 97,000 more than a year ago.