More people are in work than ever before, new official figures have revealed. Full-time work has driven an increase in the number of people in work, which now stands at 31.42 million – up nearly half a million from a year earlier.
The UK’s employment rate is 74.1%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971, and wages (before bonuses) have risen 2.2% compared with last year, while inflation was close to flat. Private sector employment, meanwhile, is the highest on record at 26.1 million. 2.8 million more people working in the private sector since 2010.
The unemployment rate still stands at 5.1%, the lowest in a decade, and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest level since 1975.