17 Aug, 2017

UK Employment rate at 75.1% – the highest since 1971

Yesterday publication of labour market statistics by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which shows that the employment rate reached 75.1 per cent in the three months to June, the highest level since records began in 1971.

Summary of UK labour market statistics for April to June 2017

Number (thousands) Change on Jan to Mar 2017 Change on Apr to Jun 2016 Headline Rate (%) Change on Jan to Mar 2017 Change on Apr to Jun 2016
Employed 32,073 125 338
Aged 16 to 64 30,906 159 379 75.1 0.3 0.7
Aged 65 and over 1,167 -34 -41
Unemployed 1,484 -57 -157 4.4 -0.2 -0.5
Aged 16 to 64 1,464 -63 -157
Aged 65 and over 19 7 1
Inactive 19,183 13 148
Aged 16 to 64 8,765 -64 -90 21.3 -0.2 -0.3
Aged 65 and over 10,418 76 238
Source: Office for National Statistics

However, the UK is becoming a less popular destination for EU workers. The number of EU nationals working in the UK is increasing, but at a much slower rate than any time in the last three years.

Looking at the employment estimates by nationality, between April to June 2016 and April to June 2017:

  • UK nationals working in the UK increased by 236,000 to 28.43 million
  • non-UK nationals working in the UK increased by 109,000 to 3.56 million

Looking at changes in non-UK nationals working in the UK from January to March 1997 (when comparable records began) to April to June 2017:

  • the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK increased from 928,000 to 3.56 million
  • the proportion of all people working in the UK accounted for by non-UK nationals increased from 3.5% to 11.1%
  • this increase in non-UK nationals working in the UK reflects the admission of several new member states to the EU, particularly the accession of Poland and some other East European countries in 2004

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