Unemployment rate falls to its lowest since 1975

UK labour market: November 2017 – ONS

Main points for July to September 2017

  • There were 1.42 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 59,000 fewer than for April to June 2017 and 182,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.3%, down from 4.8% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.
  • There were 8.88 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 117,000 more than for April to June 2017 but 20,000 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%, higher than for April to June 2017 (21.3%) but down slightly from a year earlier.
  • There were 32.06 million people in work, 14,000 fewer than for April to June 2017 but 279,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.0%, down slightly compared with April to June 2017 but up from 74.4% for a year earlier.
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Highest UK inflation since 2012

UK consumer price inflation: September 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 2.8% in September 2017, up from 2.7% in August 2017; it was last higher in March 2012.
  • The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for food and recreational goods, along with transport costs, which fell by less than they did a year ago.
  • These upward effects were partially offset by downward contributions from a range of goods and services, in particular clothing prices, which rose by less than they did a year ago.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 3.0% in September 2017, up from 2.9% in August 2017; it was last higher in March 2012.

Unemployment still falling

UK labour market: September 2017 – ONS

  • There were 1.46 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 75,000 fewer than for February to April 2017 and 175,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.3%, down from 4.9% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.
  • There were 8.74 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 107,000 fewer than for February to April 2017 and 96,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.2%, down from 21.6% for a year earlier and the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 32.14 million people in work, 181,000 more than for February to April 2017 and 379,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.3%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Unemployment falling

UK labour market: August 2017 – ONS

  • There were 1.48 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 57,000 fewer than for January to March 2017 and 157,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The unemployment rate (the proportion of those in work plus those unemployed, that were unemployed) was 4.4%, down from 4.9% for a year earlier and the lowest since 1975.
  • There were 8.77 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 64,000 fewer than for January to March 2017 and 90,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • There were 32.07 million people in work, 125,000 more than for January to March 2017 and 338,000 more than for a year earlier.
  • The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.1%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
  • There were 883,000 people (not seasonally adjusted) in employment on “zero-hours contracts” in their main job, 20,000 fewer than for a year earlier.
  • The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.3%, down from 21.6% for a year earlier and the lowest since comparable records began in 1971.

Inflation rate falling

UK consumer price inflation: June 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH, not a National Statistic) 12-month inflation rate was 2.6% in June 2017, down from 2.7% in May 2017.
  • This is the first fall in the CPIH inflation rate since April 2016, although it remains higher than in recent years.
  • Falling prices for motor fuels and certain recreational and cultural goods and services were the main contributors to the fall in the rate.
  • These downward contributions were partially offset by rising prices for furniture and furnishings.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.6% in June 2017, down from 2.9% in May 2017.

Inflation on the rise

UK consumer price inflation: May 2017 – ONS

  • The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs 12-month inflation rate was 2.7% in May 2017, up from 2.6% in April.
  • The rate has been steadily increasing following a period of relatively low inflation in 2015 and is at its highest since April 2012.
  • Rising prices for recreational and cultural goods and services (particularly games, toys and hobbies) was the main contributor to the increase in the rate.
  • There were smaller upward contributions from increased electricity and food prices.
  • These upward contributions were partially offset by falls in motor fuel prices, and air and sea fares, the latter two influenced by the timing of Easter in April this year.
  • The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 2.9% in May 2017, up from 2.7% in April.

Retail sales quantities up

Retail sales in Great Britain: Apr 2017 – ONS

  • In April 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry increased by 2.3% compared with March 2017 and by 4.0% compared with April 2016.
  • The underlying pattern, as measured by the 3 month on 3 month estimate, showed a slight increase in April 2017 following a short period of contraction, increasing by 0.3%.
  • Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests that good weather contributed to growth.
  • Average prices slowed slightly in April 2017, falling from 3.3% in March to 3.1% in April.