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UK jobless rate reaches 42-year low

Press Association logoPress Association 17/05/2017

The UK's unemployment rate has fallen to a 42-year low as a record number of people are in work, figures show.

The jobless total fell by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the quarter to March, a rate of 4.6 per cent, the lowest since summer 1975.

Employment has increased by 122,000 to almost 32 million, the highest since records began in 1971, reported the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Average earnings increased by 2.4 per cent in the year to March, just 0.1 per cent up on the previous month and below the latest CPI inflation rate of 2.7 per cent.

Average weekly earnings in real terms, adjusted for inflation, fell by 0.2 per cent excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier.

The number of people on the claimant count rose by 19,400 to 792,800, mainly because of an increase in those on Universal Credit.

The data also showed that the number of people classed as economically inactive fell by 40,000 in the latest quarter to 8.8 million, the lowest for a year.

The rate of economic inactivity was 21.5 per cent of all 16 to 64-year-olds, the lowest on record.

The total includes people looking after a relative, on sick leave or who have given up looking for a job.

The number of non-UK nationals working in this country increased by 207,000 to a record 3.5 million between January and March.

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