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On Wednesday 16 March, the Chancellor will present the Budget to the House of Commons. The Office for Budget Responsibility will publish revised forecasts for the economy and public finances on the same day.

For more information see the Library briefing Background to the 2016 Budget.

Employment rate reaches 45 year high

EmploymentThe employment rate – the proportion of people aged 16-64 in work – was 74.1% in October-December 2015. This is the highest rate of employment since comparable records began in 1971.

Unemployment is not at its record low, but was at 5.1% in October-December 2015 – back at pre-recession levels.


GDP growth reaches 0.5%

UK GDP grew by 0.5% in Q4 2015, a slight increase on Q3 (0.4%) but below growth in Q2 (0.6%). Overall, in 2015 the UK economy is estimated to have grown by 2.2% – the slowest annual growth since 2012.

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