Department for Work and Pensions
Printable version

Employment remains at record high rate of 74.6%

There are 31.84 million people in work, as well as a record high 767,000 vacancies in the economy.

Official figures released yesterday (12 April 2017) show that the employment rate is at 74.6%, with 31.84 million people in work – an increase of 312,000 on the year and the joint highest rate since records began in 1971.

The Office for National Statistics has also announced that the unemployment rate remains low at 4.7%. It has not been lower since 1975.

Full-time work continues to be the driving force behind the rise in employment. Average weekly wages grew by 2.3% including bonuses over the last year. Wage growth has remained above 2% every month since the beginning of 2016.

Secretary of State Damian Green said:

This is yet another strong set of figures, with unemployment at a rate that hasn’t been beaten since the 1970s and more vacancies than ever before.

More people are finding full-time jobs and average wages have grown yet again, meaning more families have the security of a regular wage.

However, there is always more to do. That’s why we’re creating a welfare system that rewards work through Universal Credit, which helps claimants keep more of the money they earn.

Yesterday’s figures also show:

  • there are 1.56 million unemployed people, 141,000 fewer than this time last year
  • the number of people in full-time employment grew by 146,000 in the last 3 months
  • the unemployment rate of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education is 10.9% – a decrease of 1.3% from last year
  • long-term unemployment is at 389,000 – the lowest since 2008

Separate figures out yesterday show 1.1 million claims have been made to Universal Credit. Of the 490,000 people now claiming Universal Credit, nearly 40% are in work.

More information

Read the Labour Market Statistics – April 2017 from the Office for National Statistics.

Estimates of the Claimant Count are no longer included in the ONS statistical bulletin as they may now be providing a misleading representation of the UK labour market. ONS released a statement explaining the decision about the claimant count on 23 February 2017.

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release - 0203 267 5118

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street

London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144

Out-of-hours (journalists only) 076 59 108 883

England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099

Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122

Follow DWP on:


Channel website:

Share this article

Latest News from
Department for Work and Pensions

Governance, Risk and Compliance: Creating an Effective Business Case for a GRC Platform