Boost for Britain! Jobless rate falls to below FOUR PERCENT for first time since 1975

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show unemployment fell by 35,000 to 1.34 million in the three months to January. This number is 112,000 lower than a year ago and gives a jobless rate of 3.9 percent. More people are now in work than ever before, with employment increasing by 222,000 in the same period to 32.7 million – the highest since records before in 1971. Further good news came in the form of average earnings, which increased by 3.4 percent in the year to January.

The figure was down 0.1 percent on the previous month but still outpaced inflation.

Meanwhile, the number of job vacancies in the economy increased by 4,000 to 854,000.

ONS senior statistician Matt Hughes said: “The employment rate has reached a new record high, while the proportion of people who are neither working nor looking for a job – the so-called ‘economic inactivity rate’- is at a new record low.

“The unemployment rate has also fallen below 4 percent for the first time since early 1975.”

Our jobs market remains resilient as we see more people than ever before benefiting from earning a wage

Alok Sharma

Employment Minister Alok Sharma said: “Today’s employment figures are further evidence of the strong economy the Chancellor detailed in last week’s Spring Statement, showing how our pro-business policies are delivering record employment.

“2019 has continued to be a record-breaker, with the employment rate topping 76 percent for the first time, record female employment, and unemployment falling below 4 percent for the first time in 44 years.

“Our jobs market remains resilient as we see more people than ever before benefiting from earning a wage.

“By backing the Government’s Brexit deal and giving certainty to business, MPs have the chance to safeguard this jobs track record.”

Hamish Muress, currency analyst at OFX, said: “In an almost comical series of events, this morning’s jobs figures were released early as the Office for National Statistics did not want to be overshadowed by John Bercow and Brexit.

However, despite a robust set of figures showing that unemployment has continued to drop and hold below 4 percent, whilst wages continue to move in the opposite direction, all eyes are still firmly on Brexit proceedings and the pound’s muted reaction reflects this.

“John Bercow’s intervention yesterday has thrown another curveball at the Brexit saga.

Theresa May’s meeting at the EU Summit to ask for an extension is now incredibly crucial to stop the pound dropping against the dollar below the symbolic barrier of 1.30, seen by many investors as the border between certainty vs uncertainty.”

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