Employment rate highest since 1971

UK Labour Market: July 2016 – ONS

Main points for March to May 2016

  • There were 1.65 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 54,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2016, 201,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008.
  • There were 903,000 unemployed men, 108,000 fewer than for a year earlier. There were 742,000 unemployed women, 93,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.6% for a year earlier. The last time it was lower was for July to September 2005.
  • There were 31.70 million people in work, 176,000 more than for the 3 months to February 2016 and 624,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • There were 23.19 million people working full-time, 401,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 8.52 million people working part-time, 223,000 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%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 8.87 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 46,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2016 and 181,000 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%, the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

Self-employment rising

Trends in self-employment in the UK: 2001 to 2015 – ONS

The level of self-employment in the UK increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015.

The recent rise in self-employment is the extension of a trend started in the early 2000s

Part time self-employment grew by 88% between 2001 and 2015, compared to 25% for the full-time mode.

In general, self-employed workers are broadly content with their labour market status