The number of people out of work fell to its lowest level in the three months to November as UK jobs continued to grow.
Employment in the UK remains one of the highlights of the economic recovery and new figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirms these facts. The unemployment level fell to its lowest in more than six years in three months to November, according to the report.
The number of unemployed people in the UK fell by 58,000 to 1.91 million and the unemployment rate edged lower to 5.8 per cent, its lowest reading since August 2008 and a little below expectations.
“We’re continuing to buck the European trend with strong growth and record job creation,” said Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury.
Wages continue to outstrip inflation
Residents of the UK can also take heart from a second consecutive month where wage growth outpaced the inflation rate, as average earnings excluding bonuses grew 1.8 per cent in the September to November period when compared with the same time a year ago.
The inflation rate in the UK fell to 0.5 per cent in December as the global oil price crash filtered through to consumers.
“The data bodes well for a revival of consumer spending and household well-being in coming months: increasing numbers of people are in paid employment and wage growth is outstripping inflation, meaning incomes are rising, and falling oil prices mean that more of these incomes can be saved or spent on goods and services other than fuel,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at data provider Markit.
Claimant count slides for 26th month
Numbers of those seeking Jobseeker’s Allowance declined for the 26th consecutive month, according to the ONS. The claimant count fell by 29,700 in December, bringing the total number of claimants to 867,000.
The latest figures are overall a welcome sign for UK jobs and the UK economy, according to Conservative MP, Iain Duncan Smith.
“We now have unemployment falling below six per cent for the first time, which is a really, really important moment to mark. Jobs are being created and salaries are rising, meaning that increasing numbers of people are feeling the security and hope for the future,” he said.
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