Employment has hit record highs in the UK with the market boosted by higher numbers of working women and self-employed workers, new figures reveal.
The number of people in employment rose by 115,000 to 32.81 million in the three months to June, reaching a new high for people in work, the Office for National Statistics said. However, unemployment also significantly increased, as fewer people were considered economically inactive.
In Yorkshire, five per cent of the working population is unemployed, a rise of 0.7 per cent on the figure of a year ago. Some 22.7 per cent are considered economically inactive.
The UK’s level of unemployment rose 31,000 to 1.33m for the quarter, as the rate of unemployment increased to 3.9 per cent. The rise in unemployment was the biggest the UK has seen since 2017. Both unemployment and employment rose, as the number of people aged between 16 and 64 considered economically active continued to slide, falling by 47,000 to 8.56m for the period. The rise in employment was significantly higher than economists predicted, having forecast an increase of 65,000, but the rate of unemployment was also higher than expected. The percentage of women aged between 16 and 64 in work rose to 72.1 per cent, the highest rate on record. Job vacancies fell by 20,000 to 820,000 over the period, the lowest figure in more than a year. Average earnings, which include bonuses, increased by 3.7 per cent compared with 3.4 per cent in the previous month. The ONS said that in real terms – after adjusting for inflation – total pay is estimated to have increased by 1.8 per cent compared with a year earlier. Matt Hughes, deputy head of labour market statistics for the ONS, said: “Employment continues to increase, with three-quarters of this year’s growth being due to more women working. “However, the number of vacancies has been falling for six months, with fewer now than there were this time last year. “Excluding bonuses, real wages are growing at their fastest in nearly four years, but pay levels still have not returned to their pre-downturn peak.” Chancellor Sajid Javid added: “I’m pleased to see 2.9m more people are in work every day since 2010, wages are rising at their fastest in more than a decade, and people across the UK are taking home more of what they earn. “Thanks to the hard work of the British people and the Government, we can further invest in our public services. “Today’s figures are another sign that despite the challenges across the global economy, the fundamentals of the British economy are strong as we prepare to leave the EU.”