From 1948 to 1966 inclusive total registered unemployment in the U.K. (excluding those temporarily stopped but including students and school leavers) averaged 1.7 per cent of the number of employees, the highest percentage for any year being 2.4 (in 1963), and the lowest 1.1 (in 1955) (see Table 2.1). In 1967 the percentage rose to 2.3 and has never fallen below it since. In 1977 it was 6.3 per cent. ‘Getting back to full employment’ could be interpreted, quite simply, as getting the unemployment percentage back to the average levels achieved from 1948 to 1966.
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