Unemployment in Britain has reached a new low

14/09: Britain's unemployment rate has fallen to a new 42-year low, a new official report has said. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3% in the quarter through to the end of July, reaching the lowest level since 1975, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said in a statement. A total of 1.46 million people were recorded unemployed at the end of July, down 175,000 on a year earlier.

It had stood at 4.4% in the three months to June. 

On the other hand, employment reached a new record high of 32.1 million workers, as the number of people in jobs increased by 181,000 in the three months to July 2017.

"Job creation is a huge UK success story," said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte. 

"Despite Brexit uncertainties and slower growth, the UK continues to generate ever lower unemployment and ever more jobs."

The drop in unemployment means an equal drop in unemployment benefits. As more people enter the workforce, unemployment benefits fall correspondingly.

Cost of Living Survey

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law. The rate will depend on a worker's age and if they are an apprentice. The Government's National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over. The current National Minimum Wage for those under the age of 25 still applies. Most workers over school leaving age will be entitled to receive the NMW.

There are a number of people who are not entitled to the NMW:

Self-employed people.

Volunteers or voluntary workers.

Company directors.

Family members, or people who live in the family home of the employer who undertake household tasks.

All other workers including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers must receive at least the NMW.

It is against the law for employers to pay workers less than the National Minimum Wage or to falsify payment records.

If an employer doesn't pay the correct rate, a worker should talk to their employer and try to resolve the issue informally first. If this doesn't work a worker may make a formal grievance to their employer.

A worker can make a complaint to HMRC who will investigate the complaint. If HMRC find that an employer hasn't paid at least the NMW they can send a notice of arrears plus a penalty for not paying the correct rate of pay to the worker.

National Minimum Wage

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