UK unemployment rate drops to the lowest level since 2008

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The UK’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level since 2008 but earnings growth has slowed, according to the final official labour market figures to be published before the election.

The number of jobless people dropped by 76,000 to 1.84 million in the three months to February, theOffice for National Statistics (ONS) said today, meaning that the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6%. This is the lowest rate since the onset of the financial crisis in July 2008.

Average weekly earnings in the three months to February, excluding bonuses, rose by 1.8% compared with the same period a year earlier. Growth was slightly lower than the rate in JanuaryWhen bonuses are included, weekly earnings rose by 1.7%.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in March fell by 20,700 to 772,400, the ONS also reported today.

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills argues that firms need to become more productive first; “It’s great to see 248,000 more people in work, the fastest rise in employment in just under a year – thanks to our flexible jobs market. With real wage growth rising people have a little more money in their pockets. But we need to see a recovery in productivity before wages can rise faster.”

Neil Carberry’s comments echo the findings of the recently released Business Trends Report by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP, which you can read more about here:


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