ERSA welcomes the latest set of labour market statistics for February to April 2017, which show unemployment down by over 145,000 on the year and with the rate remaining at 4.6% – the lowest since 1975. The statistics also show that the number of women in work is at a new record high at over 70%. A 57,000 fall in youth employment is more concerning however, as is the 0.6% fall in average pay.

Kirsty McHugh, ERSA’s Chief Executive, said

“Today’s statistics demonstrate that the UK’s labour market remains relatively robust. This is partly a testament to the scale and efforts of employment support providers working at the front line, helping to change lives, communities and businesses across the UK.

“These figures do however also reflect the sentiment of the public’s vote in last week’s General Election, with worrying signs such as falling wages and continuing higher unemployment amongst young people. This all points to the need for a much stronger domestic policy focus on welfare support, low pay and social mobility. A starting point for tackling these issues will be getting on with the new government’s planning for a Shared Prosperity Fund, while also ensuring we fully allocate all of the crucial 2014-2020 European Social Fund pot which funds employment and skills programmes. Today’s statistics serve as another reminder that securing a prosperous post-Brexit Britain will rely not just on the robustness of the labour market, but on its capacity to work for everyone.”