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News Article

Unemployment Falls To 40-Year Low

Mar 20, 2017


The number of unemployed people in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in more than 40 years, new figures reveal.

In the last quarter of 2016, unemployment reduced significantly, falling by 31,000 to 1.58 million. Rates were last this low in 1975, during Howard Wilson’s premiership. The unemployment rate was recorded at 4.7 per cent - down from 5.1 per cent in 2015.

The statistics show that 31.85 million people were in work in the last three months to January - 92,000 more than in the period of August to October and 315,000 more than in the previous year.

Of those in work, more than 23 million people were found to work full time, while 8.52 million people worked part time, marking increases in both types of employment. The employment rate, meanwhile, rose to almost 75 per cent, which is the joint highest it’s been since records began in 1971.

Commenting on the figures, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce Suren Thiru said that UK jobs market is “going from strength to strength”, however, he warned that market conditions may cool over the coming years.

Mr Thiru went on to add that the UK’s unemployment rate is expected to peak at 5.3 per cent in 2017, which is still “some way below the historical average”.

With Article 50 due to be triggered in the near future, greater clarity and stability is necessary for businesses, especially in relation to the residence rights of their existing and potential EU workers, he concluded.

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