Swindon MPs welcome record employment and rising wages

By Ben Fitzgerald - 18 April 2019


More people are in work and benefitting from rising wages, according to newly released Office of National Statistics figures - news which has been welcomed by Swindon MPs Justin Tomlinson & Robert Buckland.

 The ONS figures show that the number of people in work is at a record high and wages have risen at their fastest pace in a decade, with 80% of new jobs created since 2010 being full-time.

The employment rate stands at a joint high 76.1%, rising 0.8% since last year. There is now a record 32.7m people working in the UK, 457,000 more than last year and a 3.5m increase since 2010.

Key statistics:

  • Wages: Average weekly earnings for employees increased by 3.4 per cent compared with a year earlier. 
  • Employment:A record high of 32.72 million (up 457,000 over the last year and up by 3.67 million since 2010).
  • Employment rate:76.1 per cent (up 0.8 points over the past year and up 5.9 points since 2010).
  • Unemployment:1.34 million (down 76,000 over the past year and down by 1.17 million since 2010).
  • Unemployment rate:3.9 per cent (down 0.3 points over the past year and down 4.0 points since 2010) – the lowest rate since 1975 and halving since 2010 (8.0 per cent).
  • Youth unemployment:There are over 446,000 fewer young people out of work since 2010 – almost halving since 2010. 
  • Disabled people: There are almost 1 million more disabled people (930,000) in work since 2013, as we are breaking down the barriers to employment facing disabled people. 
  • The number of women in work is at a record highof 15.41 million. There are over 1.76 million more women in work since 2010.

The unemployment rate has fallen to a record low of 3.9%, down 0.3% from last year and 4% since 2010. There are now 1.17m fewer people unemployed than in 2010, withan average of 1000 jobs created every day. Over the last five years, long term employment has more than halved, with the number of people unemployed for over one year down 463,000 to reach 347,000. Youth unemployment has almost halved since 2010, and the number of Women in employment is at a record high, with 1.76 million more women in work since 2010.

The number of people in full-time employment is at a record high, with 80% of new jobs created since 2010 being full-time. Over the last year there were 473,000 more full-time workers and 15,000 fewer part-time workers, and the number of zero hours contracts also falling (2.3% of all jobs). Under the last Labour Government between 1997 - 2010, only 54% of new jobs were full-time – there are now 2.8m more people working full time since 2010. 

Average weekly earnings for employees have increased by 3.4 per cent compared with a year earlier, the fastest growth in a decade and rising above inflation. 

Along with rising wages, the Government has been taking steps to improve the cost of living. This has included:

•          Increasing the Personal Allowance – the amount you earn before you start paying income tax – to £12,500 a year before our manifesto commitment so the typical taxpayer will be £1,205 better off than in 2010. On 6 April the Personal Allowance increased to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will rise to £50,000. These changes will cut taxes for 32 million people and take 1.74 million people out of income tax altogether compared to 2015-16.

•          Making the biggest ever increase to the National Living Wage – boosting the earnings of the lowest paid. The National Living Wage has increased from £7.83 to £8.21 an hour, representing an increase to a full-time minimum wage worker’s annual earnings of over £690. 

•          Freezing fuel duty for the ninth successive year this year – keeping the costs of driving down. By next April, this will have saved the average car driver a cumulative £1,000.

Justin Tomlinson MP said: “There are more people in work than ever before and crucially, 80% of new jobs created have been full-time roles. There has also been a significant reduction in the number of zero-hour contracts since we banned the exclusive use of these by employers. Wages are also rising above inflation and we are delivering a tax cut for the lowest paid workers. This growth in employment has been thanks to our sensible and pragmatic approach to managing the UK economy.” 

Robert Buckland MP said: “Since we came into Government in 2010, unemployment has fallen in every region of the U.K. and over three-quarters of new jobs have been created outside London. Wages are rising at their fastest rate for ten years and the number of full-time jobs is at a record high. Every Labour Government has left office with unemployment higher than when they started; we cannot afford to go backwards with them again.”

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