UK employment has reached an all-time high, according to the latest ONS Labour Market Statistics report.

Employment has risen to 73.5 percent, with employment growth outstripping every other major economy over the past year. There has also been a 5.5 percent drop in unemployment, with more than half a million more people in work compared with a year ago.

A government reform in the welfare system has seen success in supporting people off benefits and back into work. The number of people claiming out-of-work benefits has fallen by one million since 2010.

Employment Minister Priti Patel, says:

“Our long-term economic plan is creating a better, more prosperous future for Britain, with employment at an all-time high and more women in work than ever before. Behind the statistics are countless stories of individual hard work and determination – of people feeling more financially secure with a regular wage.

“I want to continue to ensure our welfare reforms are giving people the skills and opportunities to move into work to give everyone in our country the chance to make the most of their lives.”

Long-term unemployment has seen the largest annual fall in 17 years, which has been supported by the Work Programme.

There are now over 700,000 vacancies in the economy at any one time across the UK.

The government have announced this week the introduction of new measures to support a further two million rise in employment. These include:

  • young unemployed people will be required to take part in training or work placements as part of new, tougher Day One Work Requirements for young people
  • increasing free childcare for 3-to-4 year olds from 15 to 30 hours
  • tax-free childcare for every child so parents get 20 percent off
  • reducing the benefit cap to £23,000 to ensure people are always better off in work