Employment rate highest since 1971

UK labour market: Feb 2017 – ONS

Main points for October to December 2016

  • There were 31.84 million people in work, 37,000 more than for July to September 2016 and 302,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.29 million people working full-time, 218,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.55 million people working part-time, 84,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.6%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 1.60 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), little changed compared with July to September 2016 but 97,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 877,000 unemployed men, little changed compared with July to September 2016 but 48,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 720,000 unemployed women, little changed compared with July to September 2016 but 50,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.8%, down from 5.1% for a year earlier. It has not been lower since July to September 2005.
  • There were 8.86 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 31,000 fewer than for July to September 2016 and 61,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.6%, slightly lower than for July to September 2016 (21.7%) and lower than for a year earlier (21.8%).

Inflation highest since June 2014

UK consumer price inflation: Jan 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.8% in the year to January 2017, compared with a 1.6% rise in the year to December 2016.
  • The rate in January 2017 was the highest since June 2014.
  • The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for motor fuels and to a lesser extent food prices, which were unchanged between December 2016 and January 2017, having fallen a year ago.
  • These upward pressures were partially offset by prices for clothing and footwear, which fell by more than they did a year ago.

Growth Steady

Gross domestic product, preliminary estimate: Oct to Dec 2016 – ONS

  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated to have increased by 0.6% during Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2016, the same rate of growth as in the previous 2 quarters.
  • Growth during Quarter 4 was dominated by services, with a strong contribution from consumer-focused industries such as retail sales and travel agency services.
  • Following falls in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2016, construction and production provided negligible positive contributions to GDP growth in Quarter 4 2016.
  • UK GDP was estimated to have increased by 2.0% during 2016, slowing slightly from 2.2% in 2015 and from 3.1% in 2014.
  • GDP per head was estimated to have increased by 0.4% during Quarter 4 2016 and by 1.3% during 2016.

Fall in unemployment

UK labour market: Jan 2017 – ONS

  • There were 1.60 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 52,000 fewer than for June to August 2016 and 81,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 883,000 unemployed men, 8,000 fewer than for June to August 2016 and 41,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 721,000 unemployed women, 44,000 fewer than for June to August 2016 and 40,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.8%, down from 5.1% for a year earlier. It has not been lower since July to September 2005.
  • There were 8.89 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 85,000 more than for June to August 2016 but 63,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.7%, higher than for June to August 2016 (21.5%) but lower than for a year earlier (21.9%).
  • There were 31.80 million people in work, little changed compared with June to August 2016 but 294,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.25 million people working full-time, 209,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.55 million people working part-time, 86,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.5%, virtually unchanged compared with June to August 2016 but higher than for a year earlier (74.0%).

Inflation up to 1.6%

UK consumer price inflation: Dec 2016 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.6% in the year to December 2016, compared with a 1.2% rise in the year to November.
  • The rate in December was the highest since July 2014, when it was also 1.6%.
  • Price movements for the majority of the broad groups of goods and services acted to increase the rate between November 2016 and December 2016.
  • The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rises in air fares and the price of food, along with prices for motor fuels, which fell by less than they did a year ago.

Unemployment falling

UK labour market statistics: Dec 2016 – ONS

  • There were 1.62 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 16,000 fewer than for May to July 2016 and 103,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 888,000 unemployed men, 13,000 fewer than for May to July 2016 and 53,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 728,000 unemployed women, little changed compared with May to July 2016 but 49,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.8%, down from 5.2% for a year earlier. It has not been lower since July to September 2005.
  • There were 8.91 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 76,000 more than for May to July 2016 but 56,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.7%, higher than for May to July 2016 (21.5%) but lower than for a year earlier (21.9%).
  • There were 31.76 million people in work, little changed compared with May to July 2016 but 342,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.20 million people working full-time, 235,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.56 million people working part-time, 107,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.4%, slightly down from the joint record high of 74.5% recorded for May to July 2016 but higher than for a year earlier (73.9%).

UK consumer price inflation rises

UK consumer price inflation: Nov 2016

  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.2% in the year to November 2016, compared with a 0.9% rise in the year to October.
  • The rate in November was the highest since October 2014, when it was 1.3%.
  • Rises in the prices of clothing, motor fuels and a variety of recreational and cultural goods and services, most notably data processing equipment, were the main contributors to the increase in the rate.
  • These upward pressures were partially offset by falls in air and sea fares.