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More people in work in the UK than ever before

New figures show more people are in work in the UK than ever before. The growth has been driven by an increase in full-time work which now stands at 31.42m – up nearly 0.5m from a year before.

The UK’s employment rate is 74.1%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971, and wages (before bonuses) have risen 2.2% compared with last year, while inflation was close to flat. Private sector employment, meanwhile, is the highest on record at 26.1m with 2.8m more people working in the private sector since 2010.

The unemployment rate still stands at 5.1%, the lowest in a decade, and the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest level since 1975.

Employment Minister Priti Patel said: “This is another strong set of figures showing private sector employment at the highest since records began, wages rising and a near record number of job vacancies available in the UK economy. “

The latest labour market statistics, released by the ONS, also showed that the female employment rate is at a record high of 69.1%, with a million more women in work since 2010, the number of young people claiming unemployment benefits is at it lowest since the mid-1970s and the number of people not in employment and not looking or not available to work – is at a near record low.