Looking across the regions and countries within the UK, the North East has the lowest employment rate, with the highest in the East of England and South East.
Looking at the labour market over the past 40 years, in 1971 72.2 per cent of the UK population aged 16 to 64 were in work. In 2012 this stood at 70.7 per cent.
The number of people aged 16 to 64 in employment in 1971 was 24.2 million, around 4 million less than in 2012 (28.4 million). The increase has been driven by population growth.
In 1971 of those in work aged from 16 to 64, 63 per cent were men and 37 per cent were women but, following a long period in which more women have entered work, in 2012 the percentages stood at 53 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.
The highest employment rates over the past 40 years were in 1974 and again in 2005/06 at 73.1 per cent. The lowest rate was in 1983 following the end of the 1980s recession, at 65.6 per cent.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Further information is available in the Labour Market Statistics, July 2012 Statistical Bulletin and the data tables.
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