The South of England has the highest employment rates throughout the UK, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The report shows the South of England is steaming ahead with the most amount of professionals and graduates in employment while the North of England and Northern Ireland lag behind.

Regional differences in employment

The figures reveal that a staggering 31 million people in the UK were in employment during April 2015 – demonstrating a fall of 43,000 between the months of February and April.

This resulted in the unemployment rate lowering to 5.5% from 5.7% in the previous quarter and from 6.6% during 2014.

The ONS also found that the average year-on-year change in the UK’s employment rate equated to +0.7% while unemployment fell by 0.3%.

In terms of regional differences amongst employment rates, the South West and South East of England saw the highest employment statistics for both graduates and older professionals.

More than three quarters (77.3%) of the population was in work in the South West while a similar percentage (76.9%) had secured employment in the South East.

This means there is a staggering 2.66 million people in employment in the South West; 114,000 more than the previous quarter and 424,000 more than the previous year.

A spike in wages was also reported as salaries increased at their fastest rate since August 2001. This translated to 2.7% growth in 2014-2015 and a 0.4% increase overall on Q1 2015.

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