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Unemployment in the East drops – but so does number of workforce jobs

PUBLISHED: 10:04 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 15 May 2018

The Office for National Statistics says the number of jobs in the East of England dropped between December 2016 and December 2017. Picture: Denise Bradley

The Office for National Statistics says the number of jobs in the East of England dropped between December 2016 and December 2017. Picture: Denise Bradley

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The employment rate in the East of England has nudged up in 2018 – but new figures show there are fewer jobs in the region than there were a year ago.

In the East of England the employment rate was 78.3%, the third highest rate in the UK and 0.1% higher than in October to December 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But the number of workforce jobs in the region fell by 28,000 in the year to December 2017 – one of only three English regions to see a drop in the year along with Yorkshire and the Humber and the South West.

The unemployment rate in the East fell by 0.3% to 3.9% in the December to March period.

National ONS figures show the number of people in work in the UK increased between December 2017 and March 2018 to 32.34 million, 197,000 more than in October to December 2017.

This gives an employment rate of 75.6%, higher than for a year earlier (74.8%) and the highest since comparable records began in 1971.

Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: “With employment up again in the three months to March, the rate has hit a new record, with unemployment remaining at its lowest rate since 1975.

“The growth in employment is still being driven by UK nationals, with a slight drop over the past year in the number of foreign workers. It’s important to remember, though, that this isn’t a measure of migration.

“Growth in total pay remains in line with inflation, meaning real earnings are flat on the year.”


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