Employment Figures

New independent jobs figures show the fundamentals of the British economy remain robust, there are more people in work than ever before, a record high rate of women in work and wages growing faster than inflation for the 15th month in a row. 

We are helping people into work by reforming welfare so work always pays, while backing businesses to create more, better paying jobs across the whole country through our careful economic management and modern Industrial Strategy.

With the unemployment rate falling to its lowest since 1974, more people have the economic independence that a job brings and can reach their full potential. Behind every employment number is a person whose self-esteem, mental wellbeing, economic circumstances and life chances are all vastly improved by being in the workplace.

Key statistics:

  • Wages: Average weekly earnings for employees increased by 3.4 per cent compared with a year earlier.
  • Employment: 32.75 million (up 357,000 over the last year and up by 3.7 million since 2010).
  • Employment rate: 76.1 per cent (up 0.5 points over the past year and up 5.9 points since 2010).
  • Unemployment: 1.30 million (down 112,000 over the past year and down by 1.20 million since 2010).
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8 per cent (down 0.4 points over the past year and down 4.1 points since 2010) – the lowest rate since 1974 and almost halving since 2010 (8.0 per cent).

Other statistics: 

We are helping families with the cost of living, so they have more money in their pockets:

  • Increasing the Personal Allowance – the amount you earn before you start paying income tax – to £12,500 a year earlier than planned so the typical taxpayer will be £1,205 better off than in 2010. These changes will cut taxes for 32 million people and take 1.74 million people out of income tax altogether compared to 2015-16.
  • Making the biggest ever increase to the National Living Wage – boosting the earnings of the lowest paid and taking the proportion of low paid people to the lowest since 1980. The National Living Wage has increased from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, representing an increase to a full-time minimum wage worker’s annual earnings of over £690.
  • Freezing fuel duty for the ninth successive year – keeping the costs of driving down. By next April, this will have saved the average car driver a cumulative £1,000. Most other vehicle taxes are being uprated in the normal way in line with previously announced policy.

Labour don’t know how to handle the economy and would hurt the people they claim to want to help, just like last time:

  • Labour would do ‘profound harm to our economy’ and ‘harm the very people they are intended to help’ according to leading business group. Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI has said: ‘Labour’s plans to renationalise our rail, water and energy would do profound harm to our economy, to the services on which we rely, and to our country’s finances… The Labour Party’s current proposals get the balance wrong. And will harm the very people they are intended to help’ (CBI, Press Release, 28 March 2019, link).
  • No Labour government has ever left office with unemployment lower than when it started, and the number of unemployed people increased by one million in Labour’s last term in office. At the start of Labour’s third ministry in March to May 2005 the unemployment level was 1.4 million but by March to May it had risen to 2.5 million (ONS, Labour Market Statistics, 19 February 2019, link).