Unemployment | Unemployment rate lowest in decades

Unemployment rate lowest in decades

Results from the latest Labour Force Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that from August to November 2018, the unemployment rate in the UK fell to a record low of four per cent – its lowest level since the 1970’s.

The stats, which fell below market projections of 4.1%, show that an estimated 32.53million are currently in work – 141,000 more than the period between June and August 2018 and a staggering 328,000 more than the same period one year earlier.

An estimated 1.37million people between the ages of 16 and 64-years-old are out of work but actively looking for a new position and, whilst that number is largely unchanged from the period spanning June to August 2018, it does represent a drastic change year-on-year with 68,000 fewer people out of work.

The number of economically inactive (not working and not seeking work) individuals aged between 16 and 64 also fell by 100,000 between January 2019 and August 2018 to 8.65million. This is 86,000 less than the same period one year earlier, with numbers expected to continue in this trend throughout 2019.

Britain’s professional affluence hit an all-time-low in 1974, when just 3.4% of the country’s workforce was unemployed – far lower than the average of 7.01% since 1971. The unemployment rate hit its peak in February of 1984, when 12% of the population were officially out of work.

Wages on the rise

For those in work, statistics for wages have also showed a promising pattern of inflation; average weekly earnings including bonuses have improved by three point three per cent. This represents the most growth in earnings since 2008, but according to Pantheon Economics Chief UK Economist Samuel Tombs, this news isn’t as positive as it may seem.

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Speaking to The Guardian, he explained: “2019 looks set to be a far better year for pay than 2018, but after a pretty appalling decade, Britain remains some way off a return to the levels of real pay we enjoyed before the crash.”

“The economy is visibly slowing due to the risk of a disastrous no-deal Brexit next year. A May rate hike, after a no-deal Brexit likely has been averted, remains a good bet,” he added.

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