UK shows economic muscle as it leads G7 in employment stakes

The UK has the highest rate of employment among all the G7 group of the most powerful industrial nations, according to official figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Its Employment Outlook 2006 report shows that the UK has an employment rate of 72.6%, ahead of other G7 countries Canada, the US, Japan, France, Germany and Italy.

This is the first time in the past half century that the UK has the highest employment rate and best combination of unemployment and inactivity rates in the G7 group.

Jim Murphy, minister for employment and welfare reform, welcomed the figures. “This government’s policy of reforming the labour market so that it is able to provide the skills and opportunity for people who have traditionally been left behind such as lone parents, have enabled us to continue performing where other countries have stood still.”

The OECD report also shows that the UK has the best combination of unemployment (4.6% equal lowest with Japan) and inactivity rates (23.9% second lowest to Canada).

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