UK unemployment rate falls, as pay growth slows but job creation increases

The UK unemployment rate has fallen to a near 10-year low of 5.2% (1). Between 2014 and 2015, the country also saw the job creation rate grow at its fastest rate for 20 years (2).

However, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported that the average annual wages for British workers only grew by an annual rate of 2% in the three months to October, the lowest rate since 2006. Living standards are still rising on average, with inflation running at just 0.1% (3).

In the three months to October, the number of people out of work fell by 110,000 to 1.71 million (1). Nearly 700,000 new jobs were created across the UK in the period 2014-15 (2).

When analysing the job creation and destruction during March 2014-15, the Enterprise Research Centre discovered that a net 695,500 positions were created. In addition, they found that growing companies hired 2.52 million people, whereas 1.83 million jobs were lost (2).

Deputy Director of the ERC, Professor Mark Hart said: “There is a great start-up story in the UK, and we see that in the data. It is what you would expect to see as we emerge from recession” (2).

The Chancellor George Osborne has also said: “Today’s record employment figures, alongside unemployment and youth unemployment rates at a nine-year low, mean more people than ever before have the security of a job and regular pay packet, so they can provide for themselves and their families.

“Our plan for a more prosperous future is delivering for working people with pay packets growing, and the new national living wage will deliver a further boost next year” (4).

The people of Britain will hope this sets a precedent for the economy as 2016 approaches.


(1) BBC News. “UK unemployment rate falls to 5.2%, lowest in nearly 10 years”.

(2) The Financial Times. “Jobs created at fastest rate for 20 years”.

(3) The Guardian. “UK jobs data: pay growth slows to 2%”.

(4) This is Money. “Unemployment rate falls to lowest level since 2006 but meagre pay growth makes early rise unlikely”.