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Jobless total falls by 100,000 and 30 million in work for first time
10:48am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
THE Government was given a pre-Christmas boost on the jobs front when unemployment fell by almost 100,000 and the number of people in work topped 30 million for the first time on record.
The jobless total fell by 99,000 in the quarter to October, the biggest cut in over a decade, to 2.39 million, giving a rate of 7.4 per cent, the lowest for over four years.
The number of people in work was 30.09 million, an increase of 250,000 over the quarter and of almost half a million compared with a year ago.
Private sector employment reached a record high of 24.4 million, and long-term and youth unemployment also fell.
But 1.47 million people were in part-time jobs because they could not find full-time work, the highest total since records began in 1992.
Other data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a 45,000 fall in those classed as economically inactive, to 8.92 million - a rate of 22 per cent and the lowest since 1991.
The number of people claiming jobseekers allowance fell by 36,700 in November to 1.27 million, the 13th consecutive monthly cut.
The number of people unemployed for more than a year fell by 33,000 to 866,000, the lowest for over a year, while youth unemployment dipped by 19,000 to 941,000.
Public sector employment increased slightly, by 4,000, to 5.6 million, largely because of a rise in the NHS, although the figure fell by 11,000 in local government.
The employment rate for over-65s is now ten per cent, the highest since records began in 1992.
Average earnings increased by 0.9 per cent in the year to October, down by 0.1 per cent on the previous month, giving a weekly average of 476.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said: "It is really encouraging news that the number of people in jobs has increased by a quarter of a million in the last three months, bringing the total number of people in work to a record-breaking 30 million.
"Together with a big fall in unemployment, this shows that the Government's long-term economic plan to get people off benefits and into work is proving successful.
"It's also thanks to British businesses up and down the country who are feeling increasingly confident about taking on workers. This is a great sign that the economy is growing."
UNEMPLOYMENT BY REGION
Regional unemployment between August and October:
Region Unemployed Change Rate
North-East 133,000 minus 3,000 10.1%
North West 257,000 minus 29,000 7.5%
Yorks/Humber 239,000 minus 6,000 8.6%
East Midlands 162,000 minus 6,000 6.9%
West Mids 240,000 minus 26,000 8.8%
East 176,000 minus 35,000 5.6%
London 368,000 plus 8,000 8.5%
South East 266,000 minus 2,000 5.8%
South West 175,000 plus 8,000 6.4%
Wales 112,000 minus 7,000 7.4%
Scotland 196,000 minus 7,000 7.1%
N.Ireland 65,000 plus 5,000 7.5%
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