Employment in South West reaches record high

Official figures released today show the number of people in work has never been higher since records began in 1971.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the employment rate is at a joint record high of 74.8%, with 31.95 million people now in work – an increase of 372,000 on the year.

This rise has been driven by full time work with average weekly earnings up by 2.1% including bonuses.

Swindon Town Centre Swindon Town Centre

Meanwhile there are 50,000 fewer unemployed people with unemployment remaining at its lowest rate since 1975 at 4.6%.

Today’s figures also show:

  • The female employment rate is at a joint record high of 70.2%, with nearly 15 million women in work.
  • The unemployment rate for 18 – 24 year olds who have left full time education is 10.7% – a joint record low.
  • There are around 770,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time.

Separate figures out today show 1.2 million claims have been made to Universal Credit (UC). Of the 530,000 people now claiming UC, nearly 38% are in work.

Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, David Gauke said:

“This government wants to give everyone the opportunity to succeed, regardless of where they live or their background.

“There’s good news in the South West where there are a record high of 2.75 million people in work and a record employment rate of 79.1% – higher than the national rate of 74.8%. The employment rate for women is also at a record high of 74.6%, far higher than the national employment rate for women which is currently 70.2%, itself a record high. At 3.4% the South West has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, 1.2 % points below the national rate of 4.6%.

“This is good news for families as we continue to build a stronger, fairer Britain.”