Employment rate highest since 1971

UK employment rate hit its highest level since 1971, with unemployment falling to 3.9% in the three months to January 2019.

Unemployment fell by 35,000 between November 2018 and January 2019, whilst employment increased by 222,000, the biggest rise since the three months to November 2015.

An estimated 1.34 million people were unemployed in the three months to January 2019, 112,000 fewer than a year earlier and the lowest level since October to December 1975.

The unemployment rate in the United Kingdom averaged 7% from 1971 to 2019, reaching an all-time high of 12% in February of 1984 and a record low of 3.4% in November of 1973.

Overall employment rate reaches new record high of 76.1%

Employment rate reaches new record high of 76.1%
Source: Office for National Statistics – Labour Force Survey

Unemployment rates generally falling for the last five years

Unemployment rates have been falling for the last five years
Source: Office for National Statistics – Labour Force Survey

Employee earnings for November 2018 to January 2019

Total pay growth was estimated to have increased by 3.4% on the year, in nominal terms, and 1.4% in real terms (adjusted for inflation).

Annual growth rate (estimate)
Sampling variability
of growth rate
Total pay (nominal) 3.4 ± 0.5
Total pay (real) 1.5
Regular pay (nominal) 3.4 ± 0.5
Regular pay (real) 1.4