LONDON – The United Kingdom’s unemployment rate between February and July 2017 fell to 4.3 percent, the lowest since 1975, according to a survey published Wednesday by the country’s official statistics office.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate between February-April and May-July 2017 showed a year-on-year drop and also that the number of people aged 16-64 not working and not seeking or available to work – economically inactive – had descended.
“The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 75.3 percent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971,” the Office of National Statistics said in a statement.
Matt Hughes of the ONS said the figures represented a “record unemployment rate” that suggested “a strong labor market.”
According to the ONS there were 1.46 million people unemployed (people not working but seeking and available to work) from May-July, 75,000 fewer than February-April and 175,000 fewer than a year earlier.
According to the statistics office, there were 8.74 million people aged 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 107,000 less than for February-April 2017 and 96,000 less, year-on-year.
However, the same ONS bulletin also showed that the average weekly earnings for employees in the UK, in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) fell by 0.4 percent, both including and excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.