CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride has welcomed figures released by the Office of national Statistics today (15/02/17) which show the highest employment rate since records began in 1971 and female employment reaching 70% for the first time. The number of people claiming out of work benefits – either Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit – saw a quarterly fall of 42,000 to 2.1%, the lowest rate since 1974. Mr Stride said:
“The successful management of the economy will continue to be the Government’s number one priority and there is always more work to do, but these are an extraordinary set of figures, shattering a number of long-standing records. Individual indicators are also encouraging with youth unemployment falling to its lowest level in 12 years and average weekly earnings now having risen faster than CPI inflation every month since 2014. Job vacancies are also continuing to hover around 750,000 – a positive sign that existing businesses are looking to expand and new businesses are continuing to set themselves up.”
The figures released cover the period October to December 2016. Employment is now at a record rate of 74.6 per cent – the highest since comparable records began in 1971 – with 31.84 million now in work.