Employment rate at new high - and wages are going up too

Britain is still enjoying booming employment numbers- with the employment rate at its highest since records began in 1971

Less than 12 months before Britain exits the European Union, the number of EU nationals employed in the United Kingdom dropped by 1.2% from the same time one year ago to just over 2.29 million, the largest drop in percentage for the last eight years.

Across the United Kingdom employment increased by 197,000 to 32.3 million, the highest figure since records began in 1971.

The data also reveals that unemployment stood at 4.2 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent a year earlier - the lowest point since 1975.

There were 1.42 million unemployed people 46,000 fewer than for October to December 2017 and 116,000 fewer than for a year earlier while 32.34 million people were in work, 197,000 more than for October to December 2017 and 396,000 more than for a year earlier.

Regular pay - which excludes bonuses - was 2.9% up on a year ago, a slight increase from the 2.8% annual increase reported the previous month.

The number of people in employment also fell slightly by 2,000 to 2.63 million. "It's important to remember, though, that this isn't a measure of migration".

"Growth in total pay remains in line with inflation, meaning real earnings are flat on the year".

"Today's figures once again cement that turnaround, with a new employment rate record of 75.6 per cent, and on average over 1,000 people each and every day, since 2010, getting a job".

"With wages growing faster than inflation and increases in the personal tax allowance, not only are more people bringing home a pay packet but they are keeping more of their hard earned money for themselves and their families".

Tara Sinclair, an economist at the jobs site Indeed, said: "A repeat of last month's exceptionally strong set of labour statistics was..."

New data released by the Office for National Statics (ONS) today shows that average weekly earnings have increased by 0.4 per cent adjusted for inflation in the first quarter.

The Kingdom's official jobless rate steadied 4.2% in March, while the claimant count change showed a much bigger-than-expected increase.

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