LONDON: The number of people in work has reached a record high amid strong demand for workers, despite repeated warnings that Brexit would cause unemployment to rise.
There were more than 32.2 million people in employment in the three months to November, an increase of 102,000 on the previous quarter and the highest total since records began in 1971.
The UK’s employment rate is now at a joint record high of 75.3%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported.
The unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell slightly, with the 16-plus jobless rate hovering at around 4.3%. The overall number of people out of work fell by 3,000 to 1.44 million, which is 160,000 lower than a year ago.
The number of people claiming benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance and the unemployment element of Universal Credit did increase by 8,600 over the three-month period, reaching 832,500.
However the number of people classed as economically inactive, including students, those on long-term sick leave, taken early retirement or who have given up looking for work, fell by 79,000 to 8.7 million, the lowest since the winter of 2000-01. Job vacancies also rise by 17,000 to a record 810,000.
Average earnings also increased by 2.5% in the year to November, unchanged from the previous month, although pay is still growing at less than the rate of inflation.
Many warned before the EU referendum that Brexit would have a negative impact on our economy, causing companies to flee the UK for havens overseas and taking jobs with them.
However unemployment has continued to fall. The rate dropped to a 42-year low in the three months to May, and has continued to decline since then.
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