UK unemployment rate down to 5.6%

The jobless rate in the UK has dropped to 5.6%, according to the latest official figures released by the Office for National Statistics. The unemployment rate is the percentage of the workforce that has no job and is actively seeking one.

The number of jobless people in the UK dropped by 76,000 between December and February to 1.84 million. Unemployment, at only 5.6%, has fallen to its lowest rate since July 2008.

Average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses) in the three months to February climbed up by 1.8% versus the same three-month period a year ago.

In March the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance declined by 20,700 to 772,400.


The number of job vacancies rose to 743,000 across the UK in January to March, a 124,000 increases compared to last year.

However, almost 1.3 million working part-time jobs said that they wanted full-time work, 29,000 higher than the previous quarter.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“There are now two million more people in work than in 2010 – that’s more families with the stability and security of a regular pay packet.

“This is thanks to the hard work and the determination of the British people, and the Conservatives’ strong leadership and clear economic plan.

“It would all be put at risk with the chaos of a Miliband-SNP stitch-up, hiking borrowing, hurting the economy, and costing jobs – and it’ll be hardworking taxpayers who’ll pay.”

Rachel Reeves, shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, said:

“Today’s fall in overall unemployment is welcome, but with working people earning on average £1,600 less a year since 2010 and the biggest fall in wages over a parliament since 1874, it’s clear the Tory plan is failing.

“Labour has a better plan to reward hard work, share prosperity and build a better Britain.

“A Labour government will raise the minimum wage to more than £8 an hour by October 2019 and give tax rebates to firms who pay a Living Wage.

“We will protect the tax credits that millions of families rely on, get at least 200,000 homes a year built by 2020, extend free childcare from 15 to 25 hours for working parents of three and four-year-olds and guarantee apprenticeships for everyone who gets the grades.”