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Unemployment falls again – ONS

The number of people of out of work in the UK is at 2.51 million – the lowest total for over a year, new figures show.

The ONS has published data showing unemployment fell by 49,000 to 2.51m in the three months to September. The jobless rate is also down, from 7.9% to 7.8%, mostly due to a decline in youth unemployment.

The unemployment total is now 110,000 lower than for the same quarter last year. The number of people in work has increased by 100,000 in the latest quarter to just under 30 million, with part-time employment up 49,000 to 8.1 million.

However, the claimant count rose by 10,100 last month to 1.58 million, the highest since July. And long-term unemployment has increased by 12,000 to 894,000, whilst the jobless rate for 16-24 year olds is still 963,000.

Gerwyn Davies, labour market adviser at the CIPD, said: “Employers have continued to focus on keeping labour costs down and a combination of pay restraint and a higher proportion of part-time and temporary work has enabled them to take on more staff. Of particular note this month is the disproportionately large increase in part-time employment. Almost half of the employment increase is due to part-time employment, and almost all of this increase is accounted for by women.

“Despite the positive headline figures, the high proportions of part-time and temporary work suggest that many employers remain cautious about adding to their long-term cost base. Business confidence has improved in recent months but is still fragile. So while we may see further short-term increases in employment – as indicated in CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook – it may be some time before this translates into the permanent positions that most job-seekers prefer.”

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