Number of workers finding jobs surges as wages edge higher


More people found work in the UK last year than in any year since 1988, according to ONS figures. The number of people in employment surged by over 600,000 last year to 30.9m, the biggest annual rise in a quarter of a century. In the three months to December, 73.2% of people aged 16-64 were in employment, matching a record high last set in 2005. There were also positive signs about the quality of jobs the economy was creating: the number of full-time employees rose sharply in the three months to December, while the number in self-employment fell. There were also fewer people who said they were working as temps and part-timers because they could not find full-time work. The jobless rate fell from 5.8% to 5.7%, and youth unemployment was steady at 16.2%. Meanwhile pay growth was higher than inflation for the fourth consecutive month in December. Total average weekly earnings were 2.1% higher than a year earlier, up from 1.7% last month.


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