Unemployment is at a 10-year low

Published: 16th Nov 2016

In brief

Claim

The unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been for over a decade.

Conclusion

Correct.

 

The employment rate has never been higher.

 

Correct according to figures available since the 1970s.

 

In the past year, employment in the constituency of Aldridge-Brownhills has gone up by 88,000.

 

That’s wrong. About 39,000 people were employed there from July 2015 to June 2016 - about 4,500 more than the previous year.

Claim 1 of 3

“The employment figures show the strength of the fundamentals of our economy, with the employment rate never been higher, the unemployment rate the lowest than it has been for more than a decade”

Theresa May, 16 November 2016

It’s correct that the employment rate has never been higher on record (since 1970). 75% of people aged 16-64 are doing paid work, government sponsored training, or unpaid work for a family business (including people who are temporarily away from their job). It’s also at record levels counting people up to state pension age.

And it’s correct that the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been for over ten years. That means fewer people have been looking for a job in the past month, or are waiting to start one in the next two weeks, than at any point since 2005.

But it can’t possibly be correct that:

“...in the past year, employment in [Wendy Morton’s] constituency of Aldridge-Brownhills has gone up by 88,000.”

Theresa May, 16 November 2016

There are only about 78,000 people living in the Aldridge-Brownhills constituency, according to latest estimates.

Around 39,000 people were employed from July 2015 to June 2016. That’s about 4,500 more than the previous year. It’s not clear whether this is statistically significant.

We’re not sure where Mrs May found her claim for the size of the increase. The ONS told us this is the most recent published data for employment by constituency.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of Prime Minister's Questions. Read the roundup.


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