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Office of National Statistics data revealed that the UK employment rate was 76.1% in February-April 2019 – higher than a year earlier (75.6%) and the joint highest figure on record.

According to the recent report, self-employment rose by a notable 1.5% to 4,913k (underpinned by 1.8% more people working full-time and 0.8% more working part-time) – representing a self-employment rate of 15.0%.

Interestingly, permanent employment fell by 106k, whilst the number of unpaid family workers increased by 4k (+3.3% to 132k) and the number of individuals on Government training & employment schemes fell by 8k (18.6%) to 37k.

As such, self-employment was the only form of paid employment to increase this quarter.

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Tom Hadley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, commented on the ONS data: “This morning’s figures show a familiar picture, with the UK labour market stuck in the same holding pattern that we have seen for the past few months. The overall picture remains positive, but with a few warning signs, such as declining vacancies.

“Our jobs market continues to demonstrate how robust it is, and continues to provide good work for more people than ever before with employment at a joint-record high and economic inactivity close to a record low.”

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