Employment numbers at near record levels


The number of people in employment are to reach near record levels as fewer women are retiring between the ages of 60 and 65, according to new figures.

Employment soared by 99,000 for the first quarter to 32.7m, the third highest since records began in 1971.

Unemployment dropped by 65,000 to 1.3m and the unemployment rate of 3.8% is lower than at any time since the end of 2974, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed.

In the year to February average earnings were by 3.2% compared to 3.5% the previous month. During the first quarter there was an increase of 98,000 of EU nationals working in the UK, bringing the number to a record high of 2.38m.

The employment rate in the UK is for women has reached the highest on record at 71%, the ONS said this is partly due to the change in pension age for women. The ONS said fewer women are retiring between the ages of 60 and 65.

Self-employment was up by 180,000 to just under 5m, whilst part time working dropped by 18,000 to 8.5m.

The number of people in work increased by 354,000 over the last 12 months due to full time employment.