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Latest ONS Report Boasts UK Employment Rate is at a Record High of 76.3%

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest UK employment stats in its report, boasting a record 76.3% high in employment rate, which is a respectable 0.6% higher than 2018.

The report highlights many positives across UK employment and unemployment statistics from September to November 2019, and includes the effect of women on employment levels over the past five years.

The chancellor, Sajid Javid, said the employment rate will make “a real difference to the day-to-day lives of hard-working families”, while Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said the figures were “remarkably strong”, considering the uncertainty around December’s election and Brexit.

Take a look at our infographic below summarising the ONS key findings.

UK Employment Market Report September-November 2019

Increase of 359,000 more younger people in employment

Overall, UK employment rocketed to a record high of 76.3% last year, with 80.4% of men being employed and another record high of 72.3% of women being on the career ladder.

Things are looking to take a positive spin for the younger generations going forward, with 32.9 million people, aged 16 years and over being employed, which is a healthy 359,000 more than the year before.

The self-employed make up 15.2% of all workers

Between September-November 2019, a staggering 5 million people were successfully self-employed, making up 15.2% of all people in employment, which is also a solid 145,000 more than the previous year.

In total, the staggering number of hours worked across the UK workforce came to 1.05 billion hours (up 1.4%).

A big push from businesses in driving gender equality

The report also highlighted that women aged 25 to 64 years have been the main drivers when it comes to the increase in the employment rate over the last five years, something First Recruitment Group’s Client Development Director, Lewis Trow, commented on.

He said, “We’ve seen a big push in gender equality from our clients with them seeking a more balanced selection of candidates for their roles. This can especially be seen in the STEM industries currently experiencing skills shortages, for example in the Rail, Nuclear and Technology sectors. One of the ways we are seeking support on gender equality is through the WISE campaign, which is focused on increasing the participation, contribution and success of women in STEM. It’s great to see the Office of National Statistics report on how women are driving the employment rate forward. However, when analysing the engineering industries we work in, we can see there is so much more to do to address the balance.”

Unemployment nosedives by 64,000 workers

An estimated 1.31 million people were unemployed between September-November 2019, which at a glance may look displeasing, but it’s actually a very impressive 64,000 lower than 2018.

Furthermore, when we compared figures of unemployment between September-November 2014 and September-November 2019, we found the unemployment rate for men fell from 6.1% to 4%, and for women it fell from 5.6% to 3.6%, which is a steady improvement that looks to set the tone throughout 2020.

Unfortunately, perception differs to the UK unemployment statistics with a separate report by the ONS on personal and economic well-being saying that household expectations about future unemployment worsened in the last year, even though actual unemployment continued to fall. There are potentially many reasons for this including uncertainty over Brexit, and media coverage of business failures with Debenhams going into administration and Boots and Marks & Spencer among those announcing store closures.

On a whole, things seem to be improving in terms of the rate of employment.

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Get in touch with our friendly team on +44(0)1925 907000 or email recruit@firstrg.com. We’ll be happy to share our expertise.


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