UK unemployment rate falls to 5.4%, the lowest since May 2008


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The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.4% in the three months leading to August 2015, the lowest level since 2008, while the employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 73.6%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971, data from Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.

The figures released by the ONS point out that there were 31.12 million people in work, 140,000 more than for March to May 2015 and 359,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 22.77 million people working full-time, 291,000 more than for a year earlier, as well as 8.35 million people working part-time, 68,000 more than for a year earlier.

The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 22.1%, little changed compared with March to May 2015 and with a year earlier.

The statistical data from the ONS also revealed some good news in terms of the employees’ take home pay. Comparing June to August 2015 with a year earlier, pay for employees in Great Britain increased by 3.0% including bonuses and by 2.8% excluding bonuses.

Describing the figures as “good news”, Mark Beatson, chief economist at the CIPD, said: “Employment has risen again to record levels, and the bulk of the jobs growth continues to be full-time and with employee status. However, it appears that the boom in self-employment we saw in the years after 2008 has stalled; the numbers reached their peak in spring last year and are starting to edge down.”

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