UK hits full employment for the first time as jobless rate plummets to 50-year low
- The unemployment rate hit its lowest in the UK since 1974 at 3.7 per cent
- Boris Johnson said the figure showed the government’s plan is working
- The number of workers on the payroll jumped by 121,000 to a record 29.5million
- Pay including bonuses climbed by 7 per cent in the first three months of the year
Full employment has been achieved for the first time in Britain as a surge in workers on payrolls sent the jobless rate to a 50-year low.
The unemployment rate was 3.7 per cent in the quarter to the end of March, its lowest since 1974, the Office for National Statistics revealed.
It meant that there are now fewer unemployed people than job vacancies for the first time since records began, a situation defined in economic terms as full employment.
The unemployment rate was 3.7 per cent in the quarter to the end of March, its lowest since 1974, the Office for National Statistics revealed. Boris Johnson said it showed the government’s plan was ‘working’
The number of workers on the payroll jumped by 121,000 to a record 29.5million between March and April.
Between February and April, job vacancies also hit a record high of almost 1.3million.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the low level of unemployment showed the Government’s jobs plan ‘is working’.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak added the Government’s ‘unprecedented support’ had led to the jobs market ‘remaining robust despite global challenges’.
Mr Sunak said in a statement: ‘I understand that these are anxious times for people, but it’s reassuring that fewer people are out of work than was previously feared, and we are helping them to keep more of their hard-earned money through tax cuts , changes to universal credit and support with household bills worth £ 22billion this financial year. ‘
Pay including bonuses climbed by 7 per cent in the first three months of the year, better than economists had expected.
Companies have ratcheted up rewards in a bid to keep staff amid fierce competition from other employers.
Hotel, retail and restaurant workers saw an 8.5 per cent rise but public sector staff saw an increase of just 1.6 per cent
Staff in the finance sector received the biggest increase in their pay packets at nearly 11 per cent.
Hotel, retail and restaurant workers saw an 8.5 per cent rise but public sector staff saw an increase of just 1.6 per cent.
Michael McCartney of law firm Fladgate said demand for workers would become ‘greater’ as the economy recovered from the pandemic.
However, the ONS data showed that regular pay excluding bonuses grew by only 4.2 per cent.
It means wages were struggling to keep up with soaring inflation, which hit 7 per cent in March and is expected to rise.
For the first time ever, there were fewer unemployed people than job vacancies
Pay including bonuses jumped 7 per cent and was up 9.9 per cent in March as firms ramped up rewards for staff amid a booming jobs market. However, regular pay was only up by 4.2 per cent – meaning a 1.2 per cent fall when inflation was taken into account.
There is a big divide in different sectors, with finance and business services workers seeing a 10.7 per cent increase in their packets and employees in retailing, hotels and restaurants 8.5 per cent
Total pay has been rising faster than regular pay after a sharp dip during the pandemic