ERSA welcomes the latest Labour Market Statistics published today which show the employment rate remains at a record high of 74.5%, up 0.1% on the quarter and up 0.9% on the year, and the unemployment rate remains at 4.9%, the lowest for over a decade. With 106,000 more people in work in the past quarter, there are now more people in employment than ever before (31.81 million).

Sam Windett, ERSA’s Head of Policy and Communications, said:
“The latest government statistics underline the positive contribution made by employment support providers to the UK labour force. With the Work Programme and Work Choice set to end next year, and their successor – the Work and Health Programme – in its final stages of development, it is vital that the government maintains this positive momentum.

“The Work Programme alone has helped over 500,000 people into sustained employment since it began. There is an onus on the government to ensure that the Work and Health Programme continues this good work at scale across our communities, helping to change lives, families and businesses across the UK.

“With multiple changes to the employment support landscape next year, specialist providers need to be at the forefront of government initiatives to halve the disability employment gap and support employers to recruit and retain their employees.”