Unemployment is the lowest it has been since 1975.
This is correct looking at unemployed people as a percentage of all adults either working or looking for a job across the UK.
“The employment figures were excellent this week. The lowest unemployment since 1975.”
Nadhim Zahawi MP, 16 November 2017
It’s correct that the last time the unemployment rate was this low was in 1975.
The unemployment rate varies for different groups of people. For example, the unemployment rate for men is the same as the UK-wide total—4.3% and the lowest since 1975. For women it’s even lower, 4.2% and the joint-lowest it has been since records began in 1971.
11.9% of 16 to 24 year olds (either in work or looking for it) were unemployed during the same period. That figure includes full-time students looking for part-time work. It’s also the lowest it has been since 2004.
Unemployment measures people without a job who have been actively seeking work within the last four weeks and are available to start work within the next two weeks, or who have found a job and are waiting to start in the next two weeks.
These figures don’t tell us anything about “underemployment”. That’s the number of people seeking more hours, working no more than the maximum weekly working hours already, and able to work more within the next two weeks. We’ve written about this before here.
This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.
Can you help protect this election from the influence of bad information? Support Full Fact
This election, clear, accurate facts won’t always be a guarantee. False and harmful claims are spread every day by our public figures and media. Intentional or not, they have the power to shape the choices we make. We all deserve better than that.
That’s why we’re fighting to keep this election more honest and accountable. And we can’t do it without you. In a fast-paced campaign, our supporters mean we can hold all candidates to the same three principles: get your facts right, back them up with evidence, and correct your mistakes.
Just a small monthly donation keeps us scrutinising the most harmful false claims around the clock, and challenging the people who make them.
If you, like us, don’t want your vote to be influenced by bad information, can you help out?