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UK unemployment down to 2.51 million

Regional disparities continue; youth unemployment below a million

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Unemployment fell by 49,000 to 2.51 million in the three months to September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday.

A welcome fall in the number takes the country’s jobless rate to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent; the lowest in over a year. The ONS added that regional disparities in the unemployment continued to persist and youth unemployment (16-24 year olds) had fallen below a million to 963k.

Unemployment fell in the North East and North West, but rose in Scotland and Northern Ireland. ONS said that almost all of the 49,000 fall in the headline figure was down to a decline in youth unemployment. However, it added that the claimant count rose by 10,100 last month to 1.58 million; the highest since July.

ONS said that long-term unemployment, i.e. those out of work for over one fiscal year, increased by 12,000 in the quarter to September to 894,000. Concurrently, 443,000 people have been jobless for more than two years, a figure up by 21,000.

Part-time employment rose 49,000 to 8.1 million while there were 51,000 more people in full-time jobs taking the figure to at 21.4 million. Unemployment among women fell by 10,000 to 1.09 million and by 39,000 among men to 1.43 million.

Mark Hoban, the employment minister, told Sky News, "We've seen the number of people in work increase by 100,000 and youth unemployment is below a million again. This is another good set of figures."

"However, there is no room for complacency. There are still some real challenges out there. We still need to tackle long-term unemployment," he added.

The ONS also released pay data which indicated that average earnings increased by 1.8 percent in the year to August, 0.1 percent in month over month terms.


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