UK Employment Rate Reaches Record High

UK Employment Rate Reaches Record High

A staggering 427,000 people entered employment in the UK in the last 12 months, which has pushed the employment level to a record high.

The Department for Work and Pensions recently revealed the employment rate is 75.4 per cent, increasing by 0.8 percentage points from March 2017. It means that 32.26 million people in Britain are now in employment, which is a huge 3.2 million more than in 2010.

Furthermore, the number of people without a job has declined, with the unemployment rate dropping to 4.2 per cent. This is the lowest level since 1975, which is the result of 136,000 moving out of unemployment over the last year.

Esther McVey, the secretary of state for work and pensions, said this is “another milestone for employment”, with 1,000 people getting a job every day since 2010.

“Day by day we are helping people turn their lives round by getting into employment. Jobs are key to transforming lives and work is the best route out of poverty,” Ms McVey stated.

One of the most effective ways for people to enter the world of industry is by embarking on vocational educational programmes, such as licensing training courses or construction apprentices. Young people or those looking for a different career path will find a huge range of programmes that will help them develop the skills they need to be qualified for a job, and therefore stand a far better chance when it comes to applying and going for an interview.

The government has been trying to do its best to reform the employment status in the UK through its Universal Credit system, by introducing a modern industrial strategy, and with its Race Disparity Audit that aims to help young people in 20 areas of the country.

Indeed, youth unemployment rates have fallen by 40 per cent over the last eight years, with just 5.1 per cent of young people not in employment or full-time education.

What’s more, the UK has the third highest employment rate in the G7, and businesses collectively have 815,000 vacancies available for people to fill at any time.

Despite this, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation argues that bar staff and those working in retail – which are predominantly young people – might be more productive if their salaries were increased.

Dave Innes, economist at JRF, said while employment levels are high, one in eight workers are trapped in poverty with real wages not increasing. This is especially the case for retail and hospitality, and as a result, the staff are lacking in motivation.

“Low wage sectors matter if we want to make the economy work for everyone and improve national productivity,” he stated.

“If we want to solve the productivity puzzle as well as flat living standards, better management of our baristas and bar staff may be part of the answer,” Mr Innes suggested.

The JRF has set out ways in which productivity could be boosted in these sectors, including improving management practices, reducing the share of temporary workers, getting more workers using ICT and increasing training opportunities for staff.